Going Home

My father holding my daughter, 1991

My father holding my daughter, 1991

 

 

(Click here to read on Huffington Post)

Tonight, my mother and my brother moved the bed out of her guest room.

Tomorrow morning, a truck will deliver a hospital bed to take its place.

And sometime after that, an ambulance with my father in tow will make the trek from the hospital to my mother’s and father’s home.

Only a week ago, he was sitting on a bench in the warm afternoon sun surrounded by loved ones, relatives, and friends, greeting and shaking hands with anyone who wanted to see him.

Six days ago, he was sitting on his own couch with his beloved dogs, Molly and Cassie, by his side.

Five days ago, he was sitting at the kitchen table with my mother eating dinner before walking around his house, checking and touching this and then that as he moved from room to room.

Three days ago, he was shopping with my mother, helping her push the shopping cart. But his hand kept dropping from the handle. He couldn’t hold the grip with his right hand.

The ambulance arrived and whisked him to the hospital. It appeared to be a mild stroke, and the staff decided to keep him overnight just to watch.

Two days ago, my dad didn’t get to go home as planned. He had a rough night and started having a bit of trouble swallowing. The doctors had some serious, painful talks with my mother. They used words like “new baseline for his alzheimers” and “might not get better”.

One day ago, Dad didn’t get to go home as planned. He had enough trouble swallowing that he didn’t eat, and he didn’t get out of bed. The doctors had even more serious conversations with my mom. They said things like “can’t go home without round-the-clock care”.

Today, my father didn’t get to go home as planned. He failed yet another swallow test. The doctors had more bad news. They used words like “hospice” and “quality of life”. But then, with my mother’s gentle cajoling and patient care, my dad ate some mashed potatoes and pudding. His first food in days.

Tomorrow, my dad is going home. He won’t walk through the door, and he won’t sit on the couch with his beloved Molly and Cassie. But he will be home. Around those he loves and those who love him. My mom says, “We’re just going to go home and live our life.” Sure, it will be with hospital beds, and nurses and social workers. But it will be home.

Tomorrow, my dad is going home.

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5 thoughts on “Going Home

  1. Hi there,

    Just found your blog via the WordPress reader!

    I am a fellow dementia caregiver (in my case, to my MIL) and also find it helpful to blog about it.

    Have linked to you and look forward to reading more 🙂

    DG x

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  2. Dear Ones –
    All are being thought of with much care and prayer. Certainly can enter into the feelings that all in your family are facing at this intersection in the journey home. Thanks for this avenue of updates to your many friends!

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    • Thank you so much – how kind. It is a journey home – and for that we are glad. It brings comfort and peace even as we deal with our own emotions of losing him.

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  3. Lisa-
    Please tell Pat that the whole state of Ohio (and our Fairborn church especially) are with her and you, Paul and Hollie and families. I lost my dad just a couple of years ago and a short time before he died he did not even know that I had married Nancy! You all are in Nancy and my thoughts every day!

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