Missing my Dad

My dad passed away two weeks ago.  I feel blessed to have witnessed his ability to face the pain, as COPD took over his body and finally won. 
A good family friend reminded me of a sign that my Mom posted at our Ranch:
"A long life may not be good enough, but a good life is long enough." 
COPD is the abbreviation for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, COPD is the third leading cause of death in America, taking the lives of more than 133,000 adults in 2012.  Smoking is the primary risk factor for COPD, with 85 to 90 percent of COPD deaths caused by smoking.
Damage to the small air sacs in the lungs causes the lungs to lose their elasticity.  Exhaling becomes difficult and stale air remains trapped, preventing the needed exchange of oxygen and Carbon Dioxide. 

 It is possible to significantly slow COPD progression and to improve breathing with pulmonary rehab classes. Part of this rehabilitation includes stress management and breathing control techniques. Pursed lip breathing involves pursing the lips making exhaling easier. One of my Dad's hospice nurses told me what it is like to experience what a COPD patient is feeling.  She said
"Imagine breathing through a straw as you run sprints.”

COPD lowers the oxygen in your blood. As COPD progresses, many people have oxygen levels so low that they get very short of breath by doing easy everyday tasks.  Walking a few steps or standing up for a few minutes becomes very difficult.  . COPD patients can get some relief with supplemental oxygen.   
A healthy diet can help reduce symptoms of COPD; therefore, there are many important Nutritional recommendations as well as essential supplements and herbs. 

I am not even sure how to put into words how much I loved him and how much I will miss him.  I want to thank everyone for the many cards, emails, hugs and support our family has received.   
We little knew that morning;
God was going to call your name.
In life we loved your dearly,
in death we do the same.

It broke our hearts to lose you;
you did not go alone,
for part of us went with you,
the day God called you home.

You left us beautiful memories,
your love is still our guide
and though we cannot see you,
you are always by our side.

Our family chain is broken
and nothing seems the same
but as God calls us one by one
                          the chain will link again.                           

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