There is no two ways about it, losing my Dad has been difficult. However, I feel indescribably grateful for my family right now. It could have been a whole lot more difficult without them.
My aunts (his sisters) cared for my Dad through the end, tirelessly. My Aunt Suzy barely slept. She was there day-in and day-out. My Aunt Gayla stayed with him night after night. My Aunt Cathy and Aunt Barbara gave Suzy and Gayla breaks. Caring for someone that you love when they are dying is not easy. They did their best to make certain that he was as comfortable as he could possibly be through out his final days. Now that he is gone, they have been helping guide me in making decisions about his funeral. I don't know that I could ever thank them enough.
My Grandma told Josh and I that she felt like she should be the one taking care of him. At 85 years old, that just isn't a possibility. Josh told her that in many ways she was doing her part just by being. My aunts were able to draw strength from her. I really liked that. My Grandma Hardin offers the kind of love that envelopes you. She doesn't even have to hug you to feel hugged, although she does give really great hugs.
My half-brother Tim has been incredibly agreeable and thoughtful. We are making some really tough decisions, at lightening speed, and we've been able to work together without fail. I've seen what happens with brothers and sisters don't agree on things and am so glad that we've had such an easy time of it.
I asked my Mom to attend the services with me. She immediately changed her schedule to make it work. I figured, the more the support the easier it will be. It made me feel so loved that she would drop everything and fly from Montana to Oklahoma to be there with me. That is love.
Last, but most important of all, Joshua has been a rock. He's there for me when I cry. He's there for me when I need shoulder to lean on. He's even there for me and patient when I'm ridiculously cranky. If there was ever a doubt (and there was not), I couldn't find a better choice for a husband.
I am so appreciative of the messages from extended family, friends, co-workers and more. Thank you to all who expressed interest in helping in some way. We have someone staying at our house over the weekend and watching over Honey. I can't think of a single thing that we might need right now.
My Dad will have a viewing at Mercer Adams (3925 North Asbury Avenue - Bethany, Oklahoma 73008) tomorrow through Saturday morning. On Saturday, we'll have a small service at 1pm at the Bethany Cemetery (63rd and Rockwell). He will be buried near my Grandpa. Then, my family will gather at my Grandmother's home after.
I've had a few people ask about sending flowers. We'd really prefer that you make a donation to the DAV (Disabled American Veterans) in the name of Robert Hardin. My Dad served in the Navy and the DAV did a lot to help him over the years.