The biggest unplanned change came last October when my father died. He'd had a stroke in April, at which time he came close to dying. But, over the summer he went through physical therapy, was learning to walk and talk again, and was doing quite well. We were hopeful of a full recovery. But, The Lord had other plans for him! On October 6th, about 7:30 in the evening while being helped in and out of the bathroom, he started slurring his words and dragging his feet. My mother called his attention to it and he admitted that he felt very strange. That was the last thing he ever said; his eyes rolled back in his head and he collapsed. It was all my mother could do to get him onto the bed and call 911! By the time the paramedics arrived, he was not breathing. They revived him, gave him oxygen, and rushed him to the hospital. Upon arriving at the hospital, he was admitted to the ICU and placed on life support. They did a CAT scan and he'd had a massive cerebral hemorrhage that encompassed at least one-third of his brain. The doctor pointed out that it had occurred in the area that controls the ability to wake up or be conscious. The damage was so extensive that he would never even be able to breathe on his own. There was no brain activity.
The hospital kept him on life support until all of my brothers and sisters could gather and say good-bye. That scene in his hospital room will forever be emblazoned on my memory! Each of us kissed him, held his hand, told him how much we loved him, and said good-bye. There was audible, uncontrolled sobbing in the room; even my husband was crying (and he never cries). Despite the fact that her eyes were red, my mother was ususually calm and composed. She said my dad would not want to remain here if he couldn't be useful, and she made the decision to turn off the machines. Forty-five minutes later, his heart stopped beating and he was gone.
At his viewing, we stood there for five hours as more people than I could have imagined filed by to express their condolences! His life touched so many others and they came from all over the United States to say good-bye. It's still so hard to talk about it (and I'm crying as I'm writing this)!
This is definately the most unplanned change in my whole entire life!