Friday, December 11, 2009
In 1997 when my husband and I seperated my boys and I moved in with my parents. At this time my dad had been living with Parkinsons for about 10 years. My dad was almost completely blind, as he lost circulation in blood vessels behind his eyes. My dad was still very active and the Dementia had not yet set in. During the first year of living with my parents, I worked full time, and everything was good. I’ll never forget how strange it was when my dad start asking about his mother, wondering where she was, asking me to call relatives to meet us for breakfast that we hadn’t seen in years because of a family fued. That always happened first thing in the morning, seemed like that’s when he was most confused. As the day progressed he got better. Well, that didn’t last. In no time the Sundowners came about. That was crazy. Mornings were basically okay, my dad would be a little bit confused, when the sun start going down, in the early evenings, all hell broke loose. My dad would go outside and somedays it was impossible to get him in the house. He would have the waterhose in the front yard, stretching it as far as it would go, and he watered everyone’s yard he could. He would put the sprinkler in the middle of the street. I would try to get him in the house and he would curse me, telling me to go in. And things didn’t get better. I can’t believe how fast the Parkinsons and Dementia worked against him. It was awful watching him go through it. Soon I wasn’t able to work, I had to stay home because he would become agressive with my mom, and he would want to go visiting. We went through this for 4 years. Finally it got so bad that he had to go to a convalescent home. It was terrible, watching my dad go from this strong healthy, mechanic, fixer of everything, jack of all trades, to this suffering, sad, depressed little old man. My dad went in a convalescent home 7 months before his death. I was there with him everyday for a couple of hours a day. He didn’t know people who would come and visit him but he always called me by my name, he always responded to me. I’ll never forget when he was dying, my siblings came in like vultures, they sat by his bedside for three days. I went in the room and my brother was sitting there with my dad. My brother said, he won’t talk to me, I can’t get him to respond to anything. I went and sat by my dads side, I took his little shriveled hand in mine, peeked through the bed rail and said “Hi Daddy”. He opened his eyes, looked toward me and gave me the biggest smile ever. I will never forget that smile as long as I live. My brother won’t either. He stood up and walked out of the room. That was my goodbye to my dad. When I left that day I kissed him, told him I loved him and said goodbye. My siblings went back for another day to sit and wait for my dad to die. I miss my daddy so much, its been 6 and a half years since he’s been gone. But I know that he loved me and I know that he is proud of me for taking care of my mom. And this means the world to me.