Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Dad

Hello my blogging friends. It has been a long time since I last wrote on my blog. So much has happened since my last post. If you have read my blog in the past you know that I did everything for my parents and elderly aunt for the past several years. My 91 year old mother suffers from advanced Alzheimer's and was home with round the clock care. In the beginning of June,  mom stopped eating, taking fluids, refusing her medications. Then my mom fell and she had some skin breakdown issues so we admitted her to a wonderful nursing home in Plymouth, MA. The grounds are beautiful, and you can look out most any window and see Plymouth Beach. The staff are all outstanding as are the meals. Once mom was admitted she started eating and drinking again, and her skin breakdowns are all cleared up. Mom has good days and bad days, but most days she still knows who I am and I am thankful for that.

Now to share my sad news. In the meantime my 95 1/2 year old dad remained at home. I would go over everyday to do his errands, make meals, and take him to see mom, but he was missing my mom and he wasn't feeling the greatest. In the beginning of July I ended up taking dad to the hospital ER as his belly was bloated and he couldn't keep food down. Dad was in the hospital with what they said was a small bowel obstruction and was in the hospital for 11 days. On the morning of July 7 th I ended up taking my husband to the same hospital and he was diagnosed with pneumonia. That same day my dad was discharged in the same condition as he was when he was admitted to the same nursing home as my mom. I was running back and forth home to the nursing home and the hospital.

A week later dad was in severe pain and his belly was even more distended. so once again my dad was admitted to the hospital. This time dad was in the hospital about 3 days when they removed fluid from his abdomen. The next day the doctor came in to tell dad that he had advanced GI cancer. Dad was discharged back to the nursing home on the afternoon of July 23rd on hospice and passed away July 25 th at 7:30 a.m.  We were all in shock. Diagnosed on Monday and dead on Friday. Everything was a blur as we made arrangements, especially hard was trying to explain to my mom what happened.
My dad would have been humbled and amazed because over 500 attended his wake on July 28th. Dad's funeral was on July 29th and the church was packed.

My dad was very proud of his service to this country in the Army Air Corp during WW II. My parents celebrated 68 years of marriage this past May. Dad loved and was so proud of his family 4 children, 12 grandchildren, 27 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.
Dad was very proud of his Finnish Heritage and wrote and had a book published at age 89 of the Finnish Immigrants that settled in Carver, MA where he lived his entire life. Before my dads death he was the oldest living male that had been born in the town of Carver. Dad was a lifelong cranberry grower and member of Ocean Spray and our cranberry harvest seasons will never be the same.                                                                                                                                                     My dad could fix or build anything and was a carpenter before he started growing cranberries as his full time job. We were together a lot these last several years and he loved sharing stories of his youth, the town, people he met and knew and shared his knowledge about so many things with me. Dad enjoyed when I took him for frequent rides around the cranberry bogs. I would do a little birding while we were out and he loved the photos that I took of the birds. My brothers and I always said Dad had a much better memory than we do. 

My Dad was the BEST! We were truly blessed to have had him in our lives for as many years as we did, but it still doesn't take away the pain and sadness. It was especially hard walking into the house my dad built and we grew up in knowing that neither of our parents would ever walk through the doors again.  Love you and miss you dad with all my heart. XOXO


Barbara said...

Oh Elaine, somehow my blog lost you, but I got you back only to read the past two posts. You and I have parents in their 90s in common, except you are their caregiver, where my older sister does that in NC while I am in NJ. I am sad to hear how confusing and difficult your Dad's life was in his last days. My 96 Year old Dad passed last December after numerous physical and mental issues, so his passing seemed a long time coming, unlike your Dad. At least he didn't suffer for very long. I hope your Mom continues to do as well as can be expected, her home away from home sounds lovely. Continue blessings, I too am blessed to have had my parents for so long, and savor my moments with Mom. She is doing well, still fully with us in every way, but 95 years take a toll on everyone.

Barbara said...

Elaine, your tribute is beautiful.

Joanne Huffman said...

Elaine, this is a loving tribute to your father and gives a good sense of what a good person he was. I hope your loss is mitigated by the wonderful memories you have of him.