My Dad died two weeks ago. He had been suffering from Alzeimers for over 10 years and was in a managed care facility on a locked floor. So this is how it ended for this kind, gentle, hard-working man.
I got a text from my Mom to inform me of his passing – in all caps My Mom is new to technology and hasn’t quite mastered the etiquette of when it is appropriate or not to use technology to communicate. This is not an appropriate time at all, in case anyone else is unsure. My sister received a text as did my brother. My Mom was with my Dad at the end along with my youngest brother, his wife and two kids. He was happy and peaceful, smiling to the end.My aunt was there playing old Scottish songs for him, like Flower of Scotland. He liked that one (and so do I). We think he was waiting to see my Mom one final time before he let go. Alzheimers truly is “the long goodbye” and we are all happy that he is finally at rest and at peace.
I travelled back home last week to spend time with my Mom and siblings. We laughed and cried a lot and mostly enjoyed being with each other again in the wee house we grew up in together. My Mom is now in a nursing home, originally taking a respite or what she called a “retreat”. She thinks she would like to stay there. Getting old is hard…she’s scheduled to have a hip replacement soon. Despite the obvious pain, she dragged herself and her walker outside and into a car to come out for dinner with us.
If you’ve ever lost a parent, you know how I feel. A grief and pain we all share, regardless of where you find yourself on this vast planet. And now we have just the memories. My brother told that me that years ago Dad saw him stepping on ants, pulled him aside and said son, why are you doing that. Those wee ants have families too. And then there was the time he literally painted himself into a corner, painting the concrete floors of our basement. He ended trapped in a corner, staring a fresh paint all around him. He was an industrial mechanic, a millwright. Complicated industrial machinery was his business, yet he was the least handy at men about the house tasks. But he tackled everything with an enthusiastic smile and a warm laugh. I wish We had more time to spend together in my adult years. These are the stories we will remember now. Of that fine, kind, sweet, man who loved his family and cared for wee things.
Back in my little piece of Paradise, I’m quickly back in the swing of my routines. Workouts at the gym, yoga in my home and working daily at my new job. It’s gotten cold here. Snow on the ground and in the mountains. Our local resort Fernie Alpine had its opening day this past weekend. Winter is surely here. My husband put up our Christmas tree yesterday, and we will decorate it this week.
Yesterday was Sushi Monday and we went to our favourite local sushi restaurant for dinner. It’s nice to be home and back in control of my diet.
In the meantime, my heart is full of love for my wee pug, Roop, who is back in his spot on my lap, looking up at me with his innocent liquid brown eyes. He surely loves me too. We are re-acquainting ourselves with each other our nuances and our patterns, and life is very fine indeed. Roop is especially fond of “second breakfast” during which he shares some of my frozen blueberries.
For this afternoon, A nice cup of chai tea, a warm pug and hearts full of love. It was good to go back home and spend time with my family and it’s even better to come back home to my wee fam in our mountain paradise.
I am strong and my heart is full,
I am awesome,
And so are you!
Stay warm wherever you are.