Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Waiting

Since this is my personal blog I am going to share what is going on now in our family.  My wonderful father has been suffering from Parkinson's Disease.  He was diagnosed in August 2010 but it had been going on longer than that.  Since the fall he has been rapidly declining.  Last week he readily accepted the doctor's offer for hospice care.  Hospice has been a huge blessing.  Last Friday he was barely able to eat.  Since Saturday he has been unresponsive although he did squeeze my hand when I talked to him.  Since Sunday there has been no response at all.  He has had no food or drink since Friday but he is comfortable.  My brother came in on Monday and we are coping as well as can be expected.  Our family has always laughed a lot and we manage to do so even now.  We know he would want us to remember good times and still have good times.  He has said many times that he has had a full life and is ready to move on.  Although we know he is not in pain, it is hard to watch him struggle to breathe.  We have learned a lot from Dad as he has dealt so graciously with his failing health.  Even when it came to the point that full-time nursing care was necessary to keep him at home and there was not much he could do independently, he did not complain.  He has even maintained his sense of humor.

Thanksgiving 2010

Flight Simulator Game on the computer with Torben.  Christmas 2010

Nils showing Dad his new book on National Parks, a gift from Pete.

Nils showing Dad his book.
So we continue to wait.  To listen.  To hold his hands and stroke his brow and talk to him.  I read Scripture passages to him on Sunday. We cry and we hold one another.  Sometimes we tell stories and laugh.

Spring has arrived in Southern Illinois.  The dogwoods that Mom and Dad planted are in full bloom.  I am looking outside at the fresh colors and listening to the white throated sparrows as they migrate through this area.  The song of the white-throated sparrow is one of my favorite bird songs and it is a comfort now.

14 comments:

joyknits said...

Dear Paula - So sorry that you're having to go through this. Hugs & prayers!

paivis said...

Waiting is hard when you know where it´s leading. My dad passed away almoust a year ago and I´m missing him very much. Everything changed when he isn´t here anymore.
Hugs from here far away.

joyceetta said...

Paula
My thoughts and prayers are with you, your Dad and your whole family as you go together through this transition. Hospice care can be a wonderful choice. I hope your Father's passing is a gentle one.

Fibercrafter said...

Dear Paula, my thoughts and prayers are with you. The good memories will be a comfort the rest of your life.
Sally

norabrown said...

I'm so sorry. I'm dealing with 2 parents with pneumonia and my father has Alzheimer's. Mom's his caregiver and too sick to do it right now. It's so hard to see our parents grow ill. Again...so sorry.

kleggett said...

So sorry, it is a difficult and stressful time, but your faith, strength and family will help you face the moments. Hospice is wonderful and allows people to die with grace. We depended on them when my MIL was dying. Remember the good times, those are the things to cherish, and take the time you need to heal.

Mette said...

Dear Paula, your father can be very proud of you and your family.

Mary said...

You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers in this difficult time.

Kathy said...

There's nothing that will make what you're going through earlier. Nothing but admiration for the courage and grace your family exhibits. Climg to one another.

Marianne said...

Paula,
You and your family continue to be the focus of my prayers. You are a special person and I know your Dad is so proud of you. Peace..and God bless,

Nicole said...

Paula- I'm so sorry you and your family is going through this tough time. It's so hard to watch a loved one's health deteriorate, but what a blessing that he can spend this time with his family. (((Hugs for you)))

EarthChick62 said...

Paula- you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I am praying for strength and courage for you, and a peaceful passage for your father. A few days before my best friend died, she said to me, "Think of it as me starting my vacation early- like I am on a cruise ship or something." We had a good laugh over that- but you know, now when I miss her, I comfort myself with the thought that she started her cruise early, and someday in the future I will be joining her! We also agreed that whenever I saw a butterfly, I would think of her and smile. It helps.

tea said...

A big hug... must be glad that he is ready and not in pain... and surrounded by loved ones... <3

Kathleen Kibblehouse said...

Dear Paula, I am so sorry that you have to go through this, but I can't help but feel it is a blessing for you all to have it be this way - together and peaceful and at home. Life is a series of "hello's" and "goodbye's" isn't it? I never had a father around to know the kind of love you share and I truly envy you. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. And give your mother a hug from me. Thanks so much for keeping us informed. We all care about you so much.

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