Well, my friends.
Last week was a tough, bittersweet week.
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that my sweet, kind, loving dad has been struggling under the burden of Alzheimer’s for the past 6 years. It is hard to put into words what Alzheimer’s does to a person. Many think that it just takes your memory, but that is really the least of its effects. Alzheimer’s also affects physical functions such as swallowing, balance, and virtually all body functions. But more than anything, Alzheimer’s robs its victims of their dignity and that has been the hardest to watch.
I will not make this post an obituary to my dad; we’ve done that elsewhere. But I want to pay homage to this truly gentleman who served his country for 28 years in the US Navy. My dad circumnavigated the oceans as a proud submariner. He loved my mom passionately; as my aunt said, there have never been two people more made for each other. Mom and Dad could cut the rug with the best of them and enjoyed traveling the world. While we are all very proud of my dad’s service in the Navy, my brother noted that Dad’s greatest legacy is that he lived every day of his life with honor and integrity and set that example for his children and grandchildren. For that, he left the world a better place.
We were so blessed to be with him during his last days, and that Mom was by his side when he passed, something we can no longer take for granted in the time of Covid. We played Christmas carols and talked about memories. Mom was holding his hand and talking to him when he passed; it was so very peaceful. And I truly don’t have the words to express the love and care we witnessed and received from the nursing staff. They did their best to restore some of the dignity that had been robbed of dad.
Of course, we are all sad; many tears have been spilled this week. But we are equally relieved that dad is now released from the burden of Alzheimer’s. That photo at the top of the page was from December 1969. We were stationed in Hawaii and dad had just returned home from 6 months at sea. Mom made that “Welcome Home Wonderful One” sign that hung over the garage. As I was looking at photos today, it struck me that this December 2020, Dad has truly been welcomed home.
This will be my last post until after Christmas. I need to focus all my energy on taking care of my mom and spending time with my family.
I wish for you, my valued readers, a Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah and Happy Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate this time of year.
As you are reading this is Cinncinati or Sydney, someone else may be reading it simultaneously in Israel or South Africa. And that’s a really cool thing about this blog world…the inter-connectedness of us all.
In the words of some of my favorite little mechanical people, ‘it’s a small world after all,’ and our digital devices have made it even smaller. So, I send all my friends from around the globe special greetings this time of year.
As much as I cherish this season for the religious significance it holds for me, I also treasure it for the time we set aside to be with those we love, to relish in our traditions, to reflect on our blessings, and to welcome in a new year…oh, and let’s not forget…to consume all sorts of home-baked goodies with abandon. So, my wish for you is to soak in whatever this time of year makes special to you and your family.
Many, many Hugs,