The dementia came back strong with his fatigue from therapy causing a handful of nights where I have gotten a call from his nurse saying she found him on the floor after trying to walk on his own. Each time it was God that carried him across the floor because his hip was fine and he only carried a bruised ego. There were quite a few nights when I chose to spend the night in the chair next to his bed because I could tell he was too tired to remember his surroundings and current situation. Too many times to count I stopped him from getting out of bed without calling for assistance. There were also different situations where I found that he wasn't getting the correct medications and it caused a lot of frustration for me to try a talk with the doctor and staff. Our oncologist had warned us that there would come a time when we would know more about Daddy's daily care than the doctors assigned to him. I just never realized that would come at the price of battling....I'm sorry but the only thing I know to call it is arrogance.
Leaving to come back north was a hard thing to do and prepare for but I knew I couldn't protect him 24 hours a day. The day before I left I made him a batch of his favorite oatmeal cookies and gave him this as a birthday present.....
It is 2 pictures from yester-year. One has Daddy and I on the front porch of our South Dakota base housing and the other is my brother and I with Daddy. I made a scrapbook frame for these and added a poem I had found on the web titled "My Father...My Hero". When I gave it to Daddy it was a day for him to be more out of sorts than together so it got nothing but a blank stare. But I put it on the window sill next to his bed where I knew it would get his attention every time his eyes opened.
I also found him a power lift recliner off of Craig's List and boy am I excited about that. He lives in his recliner at home and doesn't like to lay in a regular bed. But watching him struggle out of his regular recliner these past few months has been torture to watch. This fall has given me the perfect excuse to bless him with a lift recliner without making him feel useless. I told him it was a birthday present and he is excited to try it out.
When it was time to fly home, I had previously thought I would be crying and worrying about leaving. It turned out though that I was too tired to be emotional. After sleeping in the hospital for several nights in a row, the dense cabin pressure of the airplane was a welcome relief and I quickly passed out for most of the flight. And then on the second part of my trip, God blessed me with a wonderful woman of encouragement. As we shared pleasantries while boarding the plane we quickly decided it would be nice to sit next to one another....and you have to know that is a big commitment with someone you've just met. We talked about God, family, Daddy, hope and futures.
When I landed Hubby and girls were there waiting for me with hugs and tears. Any amount of time away from home is hard but 3 months felt like an eternity.
After that the whirl of the weekend began. I was so anxious to see everyone but fatigue was battling a strong hand on me. Friday night was filled with rehearsal dinner and family. Grand kids ran circles around us and the familiarity of the sing song way they giggled "Grandma and Grandpa" tickled my smiles. It seemed everything made me cry that night.....our son and his wife are expecting another blessing in a few short months, a picture frame gift from our daughter the bride, knowing looks and well meaning questions from everyone....how many times I found myself behind the closed door of the bathroom just so I could remember to breathe and clean the tears off my face.
Saturday was THE DAY, the day that lives forever in the memories of every bride...and her parents. It was absolutely beautiful. I was so taken in with the beauty of it all that it never occurred to me to take any pictures. Thank God for the photographer and other family members who had their senses about them. Here are a couple of shots that were sent to our cell phones the next day. I am sorry they are so small. I can't seem to figure out how to enlarge them at the moment.....
Hubby and I.
Now we are home and I am trying to acclimate myself back to these surroundings. It is hard to jump back into a daily routine when we have all become accustomed to doing different roles and responsibilities.