Friday, March 3, 2017
Father Joseph welcomed his father Joseph Peek on December 16,2017
It has been a quick year. Again if someone told me how this year would have gone I would not have believed it. We celebrated Easter after Fr. Joseph passed away and then Memorial Day. June my son and nephew graduated from high school. Later father's day and a new neice at the end of the month. Mother and child healthy thanks be to God. July my dad said he thought this would be his last concert with the Callonwolde band. We all went to support him, but he continued to play. August we had mom and Denise birthdays and remembered Fr. Joseph birthday also. Every month would go by and I was remembering the previous year and what played out on the various days. August is when we had hospice join our Father Joseph care team. For those of you who have a bad taste of hospice, let me give you a book to read. Midwife for Souls by Kathy Kalina . I found her email and was able to correspond during those final months. September my husband and I took our second son to statrt JPCatholic University in CA. September there was also a remembrance event. October it was the winship run, Path supper, and Knights of Columbus remembrance event. November we remembered Father Joseph at the Fabulous Fathers event. Elizabeth and her crew rvd cross country to visit. We were all together for Thanksgiving, even one sister who was suppose to be in Florida for a soccer tournament with her husband and kids got rerouted. It was all God's plan as is everything. We had no idea it would be out last with our dad. He had been falling a sleep a great deal more and was hurting. Early December, he saw his doctors who told him the usual. One doctor he did not continue to go to was a cardiologist. He associated cardiologists with surgery and it was hard to change his mind. At times when we were dealing with Father Joseph my dad would share some symptoms he was having. I work mainly with children but to me it sounded like congestive heart failure. You can walk around a while with this and you can take some medications but he said he was ok. December 4 many of us attended his Christmas concert with Callonwolde band. He played his heart out. He told us at the end that this truly was his last concert. On December 8 there was a memorial service for all those buried from the funeral home my brother was buried from. They had a slide show and Father Kevin shared some words. After my sister asked dad to get together with her and take a picture. He jokingly said "is this the picture they would use for him". Early December 12 he had a shaking chill and could barely get to bed. Later that day he went to the dentist and had some work done. I called him and he said he was fine and that he was just going to get some rest. I asked him if he had a fever, and he said no. The next morning my mom called saying she was taking him to the doctor. His leg was hurting. Next I hear, they are at Emory and they said his leg is infected and that the chest xray showed an enlarged heart. They wanted to admit him but "there was no room in the inn". He was transferred to St Joseph's hospital. I took my two oldest down to see him and he was in a room. He complained of shoulder pain and neck pain. He felt these were from the dentist work he had the day before. His leg hurt bad. He was receiving antibiotics. They came to take him for a shoulder xray to check if a broken bone was the cause of his pain. In the back of my head I was thinking "isn't this heart related." My sons and I and my mom and I joined him in a rosary. He was in a great deal of pain. The next day I came down about lunchtime. When I arrived he was much worse. Barely able to talk and very slowly moving if at all. A tech came to do an echo on him and he was too tired to change his position. She said she would be back in an hour. I had to leave to return to my children for evening homework. The next day at rounds they talked about possibly amputating his leg but his kidney function was poor and he was not a good surgical candidate. That night they moved him to ICU he continued to go downhill.. The next day I was unable to attend rounds but there was mention of possible leg amputation but since his kidney function was so poor he was not a good surgical candidate. He also needed to be put on a ventilator due to elevating levels of CO2. When I arrived a tech was ultasounding his leg to see what perfusion existed. The tech who was supposed to come back the day before never did. She was next in line. By dinner time we met with the attending in the ICU and he said there was no perfusion to the leg and my dad's heart function was extremely poor. There wasn't much left to offer.
The tought decision was made that he would be extubated and allowed to finish his life naturally. My mom was exhausted so we asked to wait until the next day. The next morning we all returned and had mass in the auditorium at the hospital. ( I forgot to mention that this hospital still has crucifixes in every room) and has masses in the chapel). That's why I think my dad ended up there for his final days. All siblings and almost all grandchildren packed the room. It was a prayer filled room. Many songs and prayers were said. I had my sister on bluetooth speaker and she was able to say her goodbyes as well as our only aunt. Then one of my sisters pulled out the remembrance card of Father Joseph's. On the back was the Litany of Humility. As the final words were prayed my father breathed his last. Dad I know you are no longer suffering the physical ailments you had on this earth. I hope you and Father Joseph are together strong.
We knew Christmas of 2015 was our last with Father Joseph but did not know it was also our dad's last. RIP dad and pray for us.