I took this pic of my 'Papa' in 2007, while in the waiting room at the Doctor's office. Dad was intrigued by the idea of taking photos with a phone. He also enjoyed learning a bit about computers. We were even able to reunite him with his long lost brother in Europe through the internet.
Sadly, my Dad passed away from total organ failure, in his home on June 2ND, 2009. He was 81. The first thing to go were his kidneys, then his beleaguered heart. We were fortunate to receive support from the Cleveland Clinic's hospice team. The Clinic's nurse visited once or twice a week to see if we had questions or needed a change in pain medication for Dad. A Home Health Aide and Social Worker would pop in on occasion too.
And then there was Father Abraham, who stopped by whenever Dad needed spiritual support. He isn't supposed to get too close with the patients he sees, but later admitted Dad became more of a friend, than client. They really seemed to enjoy each others company. After Dad's passing, we were honored Fr. Abe agreed to preside over the funeral...on his day off no less. Fr. Abraham is from Kenya and brought with him many life experiences and stories. What a comfort and inspiration he is.
While the Clinic team did our family allot of good, the every day chores were up to us. Much of our 'education' in caring for someone who is dying, was on the spot. While I know we did the right thing by taking Dad home (instead of leaving him in a nursing home), I didn't fully realize how difficult the process was going to be. Giving Dad the proper type and dosage of drugs, feeding him, bathing him, changing diapers and bedding, administering suppositories, scheduling visitors, transporting him to the emergency room for Foley catheter changes...much of it was pretty unpleasant. Forget modesty. There were 'mentally' painful days for him as well. Dad's dementia had worsened considerably and he often forgot who we were and where he was. He would become very agitated and yell some pretty awful things. The bad days were heartbreaking and none I'd want to repeat in my lifetime. The good days I will cherish forever.
After living in Dad's house for the past few months, dealing with his death, as well as continuing to worry about how we will survive without my husband's income...well, it takes a toll on you. Life's full of challenges, right? I guess I'm coping. We are finally back at getting the house and property ready for sale, making small repairs, throwing out clutter, cleaning, etc. It will be hard to say goodbye to this place, especially with so many wonderful memories attached to it.
I haven't decided what to do with my 2 horses, should our place sell quickly (though with the economy the way it is...not likely). I'm not fond of the idea of boarding my mare and gelding, but do not want to give them up. Board would be costly. They are both older equines and deserve to retire in peace. Petey (my gelding) is coming 22. And Laila (like me) is officially 'a senior citizen'. The horses have been wonderful therapy for me these past few months. A trail ride through the woods does wonders and I'm trying to take advantage of it while I still can. I will get back to art soon. I'm beginning to feel a tiny bit of creativity creeping back into my soul. I know it's there somewhere!