So, Renae, how are you doing?. Well I’ll tell you., Some days are good days and some days are not so bad. Today is a crappy one. I have already had my large glass of vegetable juice straight from the juicer. I had a good night’s sleep and my thoughts have been mostly positive.
I am doing a lot of thinking today about my dad, who is really quite amazing. When I was growing up I thought he was a hard ass and we’d really always had a strained relationship. Even at the age of 85 he was still going to his workshop where he made wooden toys, fixed antiques and furniture for people in the neighborhood and generally astounded people with his knowledge and talent of working with wood.
About a week and a half ago my dad, who is 87 years old, had a stroke and is now n a rehab/nursing home. His thoughts do not come to him in a clear manner. There are many times I cannot find words I am looking for either dealing with multiple sclerosis. That beast is nipping at my heels every minute of the day. But I digress. This is about my dad. Quite fortunately, he has not had any paralysis and he is able to move around quite well.
Not that my dad is really easy to get along with but as he has gotten older he has gotten more and more mellow. The facility he is in happens to be very, very good and we are so blessed as his six children to be able to have our father well taken care of. Mom died almost 15 years ago and he has been living by himself in the home that he built for her since she also had MS. He was her prime caretaker for all the years since she had gotten sick. He lives in North Dakota. I live in Texas and am in a wheelchair and paralyzed on the left side of my body. And so we just do the best that we can do knowing that we have great love for each other.
The doctors have said that he has had several silent strokes in the past and at last he has promised not to drive anymore. That was a tough one, but he seems at peace with that decision.
when he was first did the admitted he was put into a semi private room, which he just hated because his roommate as a very hard time hearing and captive television very loud. It turns out that the other man is 98 years old and these two elderly men could not find a common ground. My brother finally got him into a private room where he is much happier. Now he can watch his favorite shows, such as Extreme Weight Loss and the nightly news in peace.
Dad says that he likes place that he is in although he says they use trickery when they speak to him and try to evaluate his speech. None of us have ever heard him use the word trickery before! And my brother, who has been giving us updates on the computer said that he seems to be so cognizant of who is around and he will look right at you while you’re speaking to you with such incredible kindness. When he left dad that night my brother said to my sister.” Who is that strange man in that room and what have they done with our father?” You see our dad can be stubborn, obstinate and bull headed.
He is also a World War II hero who received a Purple Heart and several other awards for heroism when he saved several of his fellow soldiers from sure death at the risk of his own when he was only 18 years old. When he came home from the war you went to work as a farmer and that was his life. That, and his wife ended six children.
Our father had been the anchor of our family. Mom was the glue that held us all together. The doctors are saying that dad will be in a nursing home for at least 90 days in order to get his speech back. Meanwhile, the six of his children are thinking that it is not safe for him to go home and to live alone any longer. Time will tell, and we will see and this is a very trying time for all of us. We are all so grateful that he likes where he is and he feels safe. Meanwhile, our hearts are broken. And yet our spirits move on.
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