Yes, it’s been quite some time since blogging. :0( So much has been going on.. we have started back at school, moved house, started soccer season etc etc.. and been busier than we’ve probably ever been. The stress levels have been high and it’s not too fun right now. (that’s putting it super mildly).
My awesome Dad, who I’ve mentioned before as being in end stage Parkinson’s disease, went into permanent care on January 6. The reason for him going into permanent care was actually more about my Mum, his primary caregiver, than it was about him. My Mum basically had a breakdown after the stress of years and years of struggle got on top of her. We simply had to put Dad into, what began as, 2wks respite. My dear ole Dad was happy to go into respite that day, going in very accepting of the situation, knowing that Mum needed a well earned rest. He liked it so much that within a few days, he voiced himself that he would stay on permanently there.
This in itself was a HUGE answer to prayer as none of us EVER wanted to ‘put him in a home’ against his will… or even with him begrudgingly going in. For him to make the decision himself, and be in good, sound mind when making it, was AWESOME !!!
Regular visits to Dad began, trips out in the leafy streets in his wheelchair, a trip back to our place for a family dinner…. Mum was steadily improving with the full nights of sleep she was able to now get with Dad being cared for elsewhere…. Things seemed to be going along swimmingly… until things, well, weren’t …. we got that first call that Dad had had a fall and was going in an ambulance to hospital… a few hours of waiting and getting him discharged and back to the home. This happened the following week too and once again, a lot of stress for poor Dad before returning to the home and being tucked up securely in bed. During this time Dad had also started having bad hallucinations which were very upsetting for him.. and us as well.
From that point on, Dad seemed to go downhill fast. To the point now where he spends most of his time in a fall-out chair, can no longer weight bear, speak legibly, take in liquid or food without choking, or get to the toilet himself. Even as I type this, I’m once again blown away by how life has changed for Dad and for us in these 3 months. It’s very hard to even grasp that it has been ONLY 3 months. Dad often doesn’t recognise us, or have the energy to show any emotion. To say that this time has been and is hard, is an absolute understatement. What has been beyond torturous is when Dad is sad, and sometimes inconsolably upset. He’s over it.. and you can’t blame him. It really is the most heartbreaking though at these points as there is little we can do but pray over him, hold his hand and basically beg The Lord to take him home.
Dad has battled with this disease for more than 25yrs… we’ve watched him go from an active, skilled man who was our absolute first port of call for advise on nearly anything, to a shadow of his former self. He has lost so much weight in these 3mths that I can’t even bear to look under his shirt. Many visits are spent in tears and anguish. The fun times are still there though.. we talk about fond family memories and get a smile or a laugh out of him.
Dad still remains to be an amazing testimony to those around him. He isn’t able to read his bible anymore, so we do that for him, as well as play his favourite hymns and worship songs. The nurses who care for Dad are simply amazing, with hearts of gold. God sure knew what He was doing when he lead us to this particular home. You hear so many awful stories, and we did in fact have one bad experience with an agency nurse, but that one time has been our only complaint. They all love Dad to pieces and he is comfortable with them. Who knows what a witness he’s being to others in the home, both staff and residents.. and maybe even residents visitors too.
I cannot even explain how much my heart is breaking living through this situation. Of course we’ve always known this time would come, but it’s so true what they all say… You can know it’s coming, but never be fully prepared for it’s emotional onslaught. I want my Dad back !! I want to talk to him and have him talk back !! I want my kids to know their Poppy as the man I grew up with… a hilarious jokester, a wealth of knowledge, and the greatest supporter anyone could EVER ask for.
Even though I rest in the full and unquestioning knowledge that Dad will soon be in Glory, and free of his pain, discomfort and undignified reality, the selfish part of me just wants to keep him with me. This is what I wrestle with… the selfish part of me. I do know, however, that I WILL have nothing but JOY in my heart when he goes home and I imagine what he is seeing & experiencing right at that time. My heart will break into a million pieces, with some of those fragments to never repair this side of eternity, but I will live my life remembering how blessed I was to have him, and look forward to meeting him again.
I know that I have been blessed beyond measure having my Dad as my Dad !!! He’s never disappointed me, he’s never let me down, he’s ALWAYS had my back.. and I will ALWAYS be grateful for this. and so much more !!!!!
I’ll treasure these last moments together and ride thru the pain, knowing that what is so so painful now will turn out to be some of the most precious times I ever had with my Dad.
Love you Dad !!!!! xox