Monday, August 24, 2009

August Update on Dad

This last month has been full of things to do. Early in the month Mom, Dad and Amy went up to visit Auntie Rene (mom's sister ) outside of Lake Tahoe. (they thought that he would rest and sleep for most of the trip up there.... but he would have none of it... he was wide awake and enjoying the car ride there...) Irene was house sitting and dog sitting for some friends that live there. The house that they were in was built with ramps instead of stairs, and it was perfect to get dad in between floors in his wheelchair. The ramps in the house are carpeted, and the remainder of the floor in the home is concrete. Amy had a humorous moment when she was going at a good pace to get over the transition that is in place to hold down the carpet.... she hit it at such a speed that it almost dumped dad out of the wheel chair. I got a kick out of the story, because it reminded me of the time mom almost slid him out of the chair going down the ramp at Kaiser in San Mateo.... both times he almost fell out of the chair, dad just looked at his driver as if to say "Hey lady! Watch it.!! " Another humorous moment was when Amy was backing dad down the ramp, and mom was in front of her ( they were walking rear to rear...) and she was keeping Amy from sliding down the ramp.... I know that the two of them, and Auntie Rene had to be cracking up while it was happening.... I am sure if we were all there it would have been one of those laugh till you cry moments.

After the successful trip to Tahoe, they left and swung down to Oakdale and spent some time at a 1st birthday party for Jamie (Hazelwood) Cortez's third little girl, Addison. After the party they went over to Janet's house and Dad took a nap. They ate dinner, visited with Janet for a while, and then rode home.

Dad was also able to attend the Sunday Night Hymn Sing at Redwood on the 16th .... Mom said that he really enjoyed it, and was boppin' along to the music, and was even so moved he was crying a few times. It never ceases to amaze me how our Lord meets us and ministers to us exactly where we are. God knows exactly what is going on in Dad's mind and heart, even though he can't express himself to us very well. God met him right where he is.... and ministered to his soul that night. So I send a hearty thank you out to the folks at Redwood Chapel that organized the event, and to those that participated. You all were ministers of the Gospel that night. Thank you for your service to the Lord. Dad also enjoyed seeing the people that were from out of town, even though he probably didn't remember anyone 's name, he always lights up when you introduce him to people he has known for years.

Even though it seems like dad is doing better because we have taken him on some trips and he was able to get out of the house for some events. His ability to care for himself continues to decline. These outings do take quite a bit of effort for mom and Amy but have also been worth the effort. We do not want to give anyone a false sense of hope, that because he is out and about, he is doing better and on the mend. Those areas of his brain ( the fluffy ones that we mentioned in the last update) continue to detrimentally affect him. He is continuing to have more difficulty moving around. He has begun to have incontinence issues as well. Please pray with us about decisions we need to make about getting a ramp for the house and other things that he needs. Some of these things that we need to do for him, have been hard for Mom to accept, so please pray with us that as her children, we can encourage her to make these hard decisions, and attempt to understand how this whole thing affects her as well.

There have been moments (mostly before summer began) where Dad has had total clarity of what is happening to him. One night he was laying in bed with Amy and they had been having some laughs. Later she looked at him and asked, "Dad, do you know whats happening to you?" He answered, "yeah, I am dying." She paused started to tear up and then said, "we'll yeah dad, we're are all dying." He paused for a moment, as if to absorb what she was saying and said, "well...... That sucks." very matter of fact. And they both laughed. Dad has given all of us a wonderful gift in his sense of humor, and his ability to not take life to seriously. Even in the quiet moments, he can still make us laugh, and that laughter is a balm to our hearts as we watch things become more and more difficult for him to do.

Amy was in a wedding Saturday for Brenda Monk... i would tell you her new last name if i could remember it right now... Dad and Mom and Kelly were all there. Amy was telling me last night that Mom was very sad at the wedding and crying a lot. She was trying to describe how she was beginning to feel the loss of life... with dad. Not so much that she was coming to a realization that he is dying, but she was really missing the things that they used to do together. She described to Amy that they used to hold hands at weddings, and reminisce to their own wedding and when they said their vows. This is the first wedding that they have attended together where they haven't done that. Mom said that she was struck by the realization that they (Jeremy and Brenda) were standing their beginning their lives together as a couple and here she was with dad, coming to the end of their time as a couple. I can't imagine how hard it was for her to sit there in the midst of all those feelings.... sigh.....

I am going to try to make it down in September for a bit to visit, and I will try to keep you all updated while I am there.

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