Posted in Familial Unit

A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Final Good-Bye

“I will be right by my Dad’s side, covering his six.  I Love You, Dad, you will survive for many years to come if I have anything to say or do about it.” ~Me, November 21, 2015

Event-01-CD1We only made 9 months, Dad.  My heart is empty without you here with me.

Our Journey together was short-lived but full of many fun and scary memories.

On November 21, 2015, I wrote my first blog entry about my Dad, A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Battle, and almost nine months to that day, I felt my Dad take his last breath.

On February 17, 2016, I wrote my second blog entry about my Dad, A Daughter’s Journey with Her Dad: The Twist, in which I shared with you, Dear Bloggites, that my Dad’s Doctor told me he was on his downhill slope and we had to take it one day at a time now.  The doctor also told me he did not want any of my family members to even inquire about “three months from now” because he could not guarantee that my Dad would be here in three months.

We made it 6 months, Dad.  I still cannot believe you are not here with me.

Our Battle together was strong, I kept your six until the very end.

It was a Monday morning, July 11, 2016.  See, Dad was struck down by a massive stroke followed by many mini-strokes out of left field.  We were not expecting that at all.  I rode with him in the ambulance to the hospital that specialized in strokes.  We were in the hospital fighting this new battle my Dad faced for almost a week.

The following Saturday, July 16, 2016, my Dad’s doctor pulled me aside late at night and informed me that if Dad stayed like he currently was (not eating, barely drinking) he had three to seven days to live, three to fucking seven days!  The doctor went on to say if Dad started to eat and drink, we maybe had a few weeks left!  He recommended Hospice because we were at the end of the journey with Dad.

Hospice?  Put Dad on Hospice?  He was just laughing and teasing me two weeks ago and now the damn doctor is telling me we are at the end!

My brain could not compute what was being said.  He just wanted two more years!

We had a family meeting (at this point every one of my brothers and sisters were in town and at the hospital with Mom), and on Sunday, July 17, 2016, we all, sans one, agreed to put Dad on Hospice.  He came home July 18, 2016, Monday, a week after the first massive stroke that put him in the hospital for the last time.

We made it 1 month, Dad.  I feel lost without you here with me.

Our twists were many during this journey and we faced them together side-by-side.

On August 19, 2016, my journey with my Dad ended.  The battles we fought have left scars on my heart and soul, scars that will never fully heal.  My Dad, My Hero, My Constant Companion passed from this life into the Ever After.

He took his final breath at 6:47am; officially pronounced dead at 8:32am.

My hand was on his chest feeling his heart beat until it beat no more.

Now, I must continue this Journey alone, with only fond memories and a huge empty space in my heart.  I Love You, Daddy!  Keep up the party with the J-Dude until I can join in!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: The Reflections Of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

This book review is a long time coming.  I must first apologize to the author, David Meredith, for not getting this finished a couple of months or so ago.  As many of you know, Dear Bloggites, my Father has been sick and finally breathed his last breath on August 19th after a long battle with multiple ailments.  He is no longer in pain and is in a better place, so I shall continue to honor his life by celebrating it every day of mine. 🙂

The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David MeredithI have received the honor of being asked to read this book (that the author so nicely gifted to me) and provide a review for it by the author himself.  The book is called The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith and it has a very interesting take on what life might have been like after the “happily ever after” stage.

I did not know what to expect of this fantasy fiction when I was asked to review this book.  I, like most all of you, grew up with the story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  But how many of you wondered what life was like in the aftermath of the love story we grew up with?  Well, David Meredith, did and he decided to write a wonderful story about what might have been.

The storyline is about Snow White as Queen who was mourning the death of her Dear Prince Charming while on the cusp of their daughter, Raven’s, wedding.  In her despair, Snow White happens to wander into the room that was previously occupied by her step-mother thus stumbling upon the magic mirror.

Throughout the storyline, the author did a wonderful job intertwining the two stories together.  As Snow White is forced to face her fears with the magic mirror, we are continually pulled back into the original storyline of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.  The wonderful imagination of the author manages to balance each story together into one continual one, which is a tricky feat for a lot of authors.  Kudos, David! 🙂

While I truly enjoyed the story, I did see many common errors that new authors make when writing their first novel.  With this being David Meredith’s first novel, he did use a lot of unnecessary words to get a point across to the reader, whereas a simple sentence or two would have the same effect.  The prose style writing was enjoyable, but not many people would enjoy such detail found in sections of the novel.  Also, I wish the author would have referenced which dwarf went with the given name Snow White was talking to in the book.  I would have liked to have read, “Erfreut who used to go by Doc in the forest” instead of just the name Erfreut, Snow White’s longtime companion.

Aside from these two items, the storyline kept me interested and I found it a fast read once I got into the storyline after the first few paragraphs.  I loved the personalities and relationships the author created for each character as well as the many trials and tribulations Snow White and Charming faced trying to blend two different royal houses together.

All in all, I give The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith 3 out of 5 Bookmarks!  Keep on tweaking those stories and I will keep on reading, David!  Thank you once again for giving me the honor of reading your first novel.  I look forward to many more to come in the future!

~4-Ever, P

Posted in Book Review

Book Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

“People don’t have useful things anymore.  People just have shit.” ~ Ove (in Fredrik Backman’s book A Man Called Ove)

Life is a roller coaster full of twists, turns, and loop-de-loops.  This is a much delayed book review on the Books & Broad’s Book Club choice for JULY!  As many of you have read, Dear Bloggites, my Paternal Half of the Parental Unit (Dad) is dying of Cancer.  A few weeks ago, he suffered a stroke that rendered him incapacitated on his right side of his body and a crooked smile like my beloved pup who I had to put down almost a year ago.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik BackmanAs you have all guessed, I did not get to finish this book, but I did learn quickly within the first few paragraphs that Ove is my Dad.  My Dad is Ove!  The July book club choice was A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.  This is Fredrik Backman’s first novel and it is a winner!  From the first utterance from Ove asking if the tablet in his hand was an “O-Pad”, I was hooked and laughing and crying and just giggling my head off.

The talent of the author, Fredrik Backman, with infusing the different characters with such quirky traits while keeping the storyline on target was amazing to me.  The author is a Swedish writer and so the novel was translated into English.  Many books that are translated tend to lose the impact or purpose the author is trying to convey throughout the novel.  This did not happen with this book.  The translation was on point and the reader understood the purpose of the storyline.

A Man Called Ove is story about an old, grumpy man with many quirks that are off-putting to all he comes in contact with throughout his life.  The entire story, Ove unsuccessfully tries to kill himself because there are certain things that must be made right before he goes to see his wife or else he will have hell to pay once he is dead.

Sounds like it is a sad story, huh, Dear Bloggites?  It is not.  From the moment Ove’s new neighbors move across the street, he is constantly being interrupted during his quest to kill himself.  Add a stray cat into the mix, and you have the makings of a great storyline.

All the characters were developed and complex.  Everyone had a backstory that you learned about throughout the book but did not break the streamline effect of the overall story.  The descriptions given in the story from Ove’s point of view, allowed the reader to truly feel as if they were standing right next to Ove witnessing the silliness or stupidity of the world around him.  Unexpected friendships, new purpose in life, and a life worth living in the end makes this an amazing book for any reader of any age.

I give A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman 5 out of 5 Bookmarks.  To steal a phrase from the books description, “Ove is all you need.”

~4-Ever, P