Friday, April 18, 2008

A Time To Cry


This week has been harsh
My dad is quickly slipping
Further from himself

Mom admitted it's time
She can't do it anymore
It is just too much

A home was picked out
It's the best in the county
Daddy will live there

The tears are running
One right after another
My poor dear parents

Almost 50 years
They lived and loved together
Always as best friends

My heart is breaking
This is just so difficult
To see them suffer

Some of you know that my dad has been suffering from Alzheimer's for many years now. This past week my mom finally admitted that it is time for him to go into a nursing home. I can't imagine how difficult it must have been for her to form those words and let them escape her lips. She has put it off for so long. She has done more than anyone ever could especially considering she is fighting her own terminal illness. It is time.

Dad has gone missing many times. This last time he was only wearing one slipper and no jacket on a horribly cold day. His hallucinations are so frequent now that keeping him in the house is a constant battle. Even with the GPS tracking device we have attached to his pants it is difficult to keep tabs on him. My mom has to help him with all the basics. He really can not do anything on his own anymore. And just the other day he actually pushed my mom down to the floor. This is something that would literally kill him if he knew he had done it. And something tells me that this was not the first time it happened. Either way, he is not safe, mom is not safe, and it is time.

The last few days have been a flurry of phone calls, tests, signing paperwork, assessments, and heartbreak. We have found a wonderful nursing home that specializes in Alzheimer's care. We have talked with many family members of residents past and present, and all had encouraging positive comments. Still, to me, it is little comfort.

My mom has been amazingly (though not surprisingly) strong through the whole process. I think once she made the decision, and saw that all of her children were in full support of her, a weight was lifted. She put her head down and her hands together and prayed and plowed through. As always.

The night the decision was made my dad woke up at 3 A.M. (as he does each night) and told my mom she was his angel. He told her how beautiful she is and how lucky he is to have her. My mom is so used to his sweetness that she was only half listening, until he said, "You know I can't always be with you. And I want to take care of you. You need to go somewhere you can be safe even if I'm not with you." My mom couldn't believe her ears. Dad had no idea any decisions were being made about him, and yet his words were so prophetic. She was immediately comforted.
I know there will be many more difficult days ahead. It is to be expected. But I also pray that mom and dad can enjoy the time they still have together. I pray that God gives them peace, and that they can feel His presence. I pray that He has mercy on two people who have always been so faithful to Him. I pray. I pray...

71 comments:

wright said...

Kathryn, my heart goes out to you and your family. I'm sure God is watching over you all.

Kristen said...

Oh my. The strength, the courage, and the faith.

You and your family will be in my prayers tonight and days to come.

I pray the Lord gives all of you peace during this exhausting and trying time.

Hang in there.....

Brittany said...

I am praying for you, my friend! The Lord knows what he's doing. Keep faith!

Melissa said...

What a tough time, but at least you have a strong family to get you through.

My prayers are with you today.

LaskiGal said...

Oh Kathryn. I can only imagine how difficult this must be for your family.

HOLD on to those memories. The wonderful, awesome, unforgettable times.

Take care--you. And know my thoughts and prayers are with you.

luv, l

Bren said...

Kathryn, my heart just broke for you and your family while reading that post. I can't imagine the pain you all are feeling. My prayers are with you!

ya ya's mom said...

Hang in there, sounds like a rough road you're on right now.

Jeni said...

Altzheimer's is such a terrible disease to have to deal with. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you begin this latest process in keeping both your parents safe. Wish there were more that could be done, offered to you as you and your family all cope with this latest development.

Golightly said...

Kathryn, my heart is with you, my prayers are with you and your family. Losing each of my parents over the years, I can imagine the heartache even this brings.

It sounds like God gave your dad a moment of clarity that night to talk to your mom, to let her release him, to once again firmly implant his love for her in her heart to hold.

Take my cyber hug and prayers.

Warmly,
R

LZ Blogger said...

I feel so sorry for your dad's Alzheimer's, but I am sure it's even tougher on your mom. And although we don't even know each other... your family will be in my prayers! ~ jb///

abritdifferent said...

I can't begin to imagine how tough this must be; to see glimpses of your Dad and then see them whisk away ask swiftly as they arrived. I do not envy your Mum and the turmoil she must have felt going through the decision process, but it is through strength of faith and family that we are able to endure all things that are thrown at us. You are in my thoughts, always. And, if I may say so, this was a very touching, amazingly written post. Thank you for sharing it. I hope it has been cathartic for you to get it out.

Thank you also for your comments, your sentiments were exact and appreciated. Thank you.

just jamie said...

Oh goodness. Kathryn your strength is in your courage. I'll be praying for your family. Your family is blessed to have you as their angel.

cyndy said...

I am in tears; what a sad post. I'm glad that you and your family have decided to do what is right for everyone concerned, and I hope you feel good about the decision (as much as possible, anyway).
You are all in my prayers.

the planet of janet said...

my thoughts and prayers are with you...

Jules said...

Alzheimer's is such a terrible disease. I'm so very sorry for you. Hopefully this decision will bring you and your family some little peace.

Joyce said...

What a wonderful, touching post. I am so thankful that your dad had that cogent moment to express his love and concern to your mom; what a comfort to her. May the Lord bless and guide you all on this difficult journey.

the dragonfly said...

Oh I'm so sorry. What a difficult decision...but it sounds like it was the right one. Hope all goes well for you and your family..

maggie's mind said...

Oh, Kathryn, tears are streaming down my cheeks reading this post. Such a beautiful but sad haiku. I'm so sorry that it is this way. Just doesn't seem quite fair. I am so glad that your dad was able to offer your mom some comfort as he did, such a beautiful love they still share. I join everyone else wishing you all some peace after such a tough decision, and I do hope that the nursing home is even better than you hope. Your love shines through.

Laura said...

I am sitting here crying...my heart swelling for you and your family.

You are all in my thoughts, prayers and I am sending you all my well wishes - that this transition is as smooth as possible and that everyone involved, some day, realizes that this is the best decision.

HUGS.

secret agent mama said...

Oh Kat, how absolutely heart wrenching. I will pray for them, too. :(

Anne said...

I'm sorry, I know Alzheimers is tough for everyone. That moment of lucidity must have been special for you mom. I can't imagine all of the feelings she must be experiencing.

Marylin said...

oh I'm so sorry to hear this, I'm glad he and your mum have shared that moment together. Sending my love to you and yours.

storyteller said...

My heart goes out to you
and your loved ones as you make
this hard transition …
Hugs and blessings,

My Life With Boys said...

I am praying for you- I know this had to be a very tough decision for your mother, you and the rest of your family. Alzheimer's is a cruel disease. Take care!

CC said...

Huge hugs! What a hard time in your family right now :(

lime said...

oh you've brought tears to my eyes. i am so sorry about the struggle with alzheimers your family faces. it is a cruel disease. at the same time i rejoice for the comfort of of some answer to prayer in that your dad had such a moment of tender clarity. i pray peace and comfort for you all as the process continues and that your dad can settle in well and comfortably.

Wendy said...

My heart goes out to you and your family...Y'all are in my prayers!

Head Gaggler said...

Oh I am so sorry for you and your mom. I hope you find him good care and your parents can have many more happy days.

DeuceMom said...

I'm so sorry you're going through this.

Joanna (Mof2) said...

Thank you for stopping by my Haiku. I am very sorry for what your family is going through. My parents are leading in the same direction. Although it's my mom who has the tracking system, it's on her wrist. I feel your pain and what you are going through. I will pray for y'all...

Dawn said...

I'm so sorry. This must be so hard for your family. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your parents.

Kellan said...

This last paragraph, I pray all these things for your parents, as well. I am so sorry they and you are going through this difficult time - I will keep all of you in my prayers. TAke care - Kellan

Eve said...

My hubby has been in a 'home' for a year now. He went intending to stay only a week while I had surgery. After being there he made the decision to stay. "You don't need to be taking care of me when your health is bad, too." And so he remains apart - no longer able even to come home for a short visit or to have dinner. I miss him. Today I'm going to take him a treat to go with his dinner - a root beer float from A&W.

Beck said...

Oh, Kathryn. I'm so, so sorry.

wineymomma said...

Oh Kathryn, I so understand where you are coming from. My aunt had no kids and depended solely on her husband and siblings developed Alzheimer's and was desperately in need of outside care. Then her beloved husband died suddenly and left her care to us. It is still difficult even though we know she is well cared for.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.

crackerjacksMO said...

Tears Streaming! My grandfather passed away from the same. It broke my heart to watch the changes, even though I live so far away. It was a difficult decision to place him in a home, but everything you mentioned happened with him as well. The wandering off, getting lost and so on. Keeping you in my thoughts.
Beautiful Ku!!!

Ashley said...

Oh sweetie...your post was so sweet and brought tears to my eyes. I hope and pray that peace comes to you all.

Much love,
ash

transplantingme.com said...

kathryn, what a very tough time for all. i pray for his comfort for your mom and dad and the rest of your family.

Scylla said...

My grandmother had Alzheimer's. I am so sorry you and your parents have to go through this.

Please know my hopes, thoughts, and love are with your family.

I am here, if you need an ear, just email me, and I will gladly give you my number for a listen.

MamaGeek said...

Kathryn, I am so sincerely sorry my friend. I can't imagine how tough that is. You truly have such a beautiful family. Please know your in my thoughts and prayers.

Julie Pippert said...

((Kathryn)) I teared up my heat aches so for all of you. And what he said, oh sweetie. Yes, it's the right thing, and how hard this is for all of you. (hugs) and good wishes for you.

jmz said...

Wow. Your post really made me put a few things in perspective. And made me a bit teary eyed.

My heart goes out to you and your family.

Mary Beth said...

Oh my heart goes out to your mother! My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family - what a miserable decision to have to make.

Jenny said...

Kathryn,

This post brought tears to my eyes like no other post from anybody else ever has.

My heart goes out to you and your family during this time and my prayers will be with you.

siteseer said...

Remember to always go with your heart. You are doing the right thing. My friend has a post on her site about her Mom and their decision.Crazy Mom w 4 Boys There were a lot of times that the medical professionals said one thing, but she knew in her heart what was best for her Mom and always did that. You are doing the best thing even though it hurts. My prayers are with you in this difficult time.

Rebecca said...

Oh my! What a wonderful haiku... and post. I'll pray, too. :)

Kelly said...

How hard it must be to see your parents going through all of this. My heart aches for you. ((hugs))

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I'm so sorry.

*hugs*

missus.mint said...

love patience and blessings to all of you...

Mayberry said...

That is so hard--what a devastating disease. lots of love to your family.

Thank you for stopping by my site -- I appreciate it.

Mom24 said...

I am so sorry for your pain. You expressed it so eloquently. I hope God brings you peace in the days ahead.

Melinda Zook said...

Wow, I am sorry you have to deal with this. Your family is in my thoughts.

Chrissy said...

I know it's already been said, but I'm so sorry you have to go through all of it. Stay encouraged.

Vixen said...

You brought tears to my eyes. The heartbreak you and your family must have felt, having to make that decision even though it was right.

Sending positive prayers your way. Your mom sounds amazing.

Snooty Primadona said...

Your post made me cry when I thought I was all dried up. I'm so sorry for you having to go through all that. My heart goes out to you and your Mom. My longtime employer (who was a brilliant man) also had Alzheimer's and it was just so sad to see his genius mind slowly disappear.

Thanks for visiting my blog too.

Miss Britt said...

My mother-in-law is battling this with her own father now. Alzheimer's is such a painful disease for everyone involved. My heart goes out to you.

Oddly enough, the song that started playing when I came here was "I wanna go home".

Elaine A. said...

Oh Kathryn I hate to hear that you and your family are going through this. Sending many more prayers and hugs your way... God's blessings on your parents especially.

Cathy said...

What a beautiful haiku.

Sending prayers your way.

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

Oh, K. I'm so sorry your mom is having to do this. I know it's tough on all of you. I'll say a few extra prayers for y'all. I was trying to find a patron saint for the disease, but apparently there is not an official one other than St. Jude for lost objects. I'll say a prayer to him, too, that he helps you find the way.

4 Little Men said...

Oh I am so sorry to hear. I can not imagine how hard that must be. We're praying for you and your family.

Brittany

tumblewords said...

I'm so sorry. Life seems to be overwhelming at times. Bless you.

The Immoral Matriarch said...

I am so, so very sorry. You and your parents are in my thoughts.

Jewelgirl said...

I am at a total loss of words.
To painful to read right now.
Sorry.

Chaotic Joy said...

I am so sorry your family is going through this difficult time. What wonderful people your parents seem to be.

bermudabluez said...

I came over from Kellan's blog. I am so very sorry to hear that you are going through this. My mother had Alzheimer's and believe me, I know what you are going through. It is a terrible, sad disease. Extremely frustrating for the patient as well. Mom has since passed away and my father still misses her immensely. We all do. But, she wasn't herself towards the end. She didn't even know who I was. You and your entire family are in my prayers. Take care, Jeanne

imbeingheldhostage said...

My heart goes out to you and your family and you have our prayers. May God bless your Mom-- this is such a terrible thing to have to go through. What a gift to have your Dad wake up and tell her those things!

painted maypole said...

i pray, too....

Alison said...

my heart goes out to you Kathryn...I have helped care for 2 family members with this dreaded disease..I am so sorry you are going through it..please take care of yourself.

suchsimplepleasures said...

oh honey!! my thoughts are with you and your family! i'm so sorry you are going through this! i wish i could give you a big hug!!
xoxoxo

Family Adventure said...

Kathryn, my thoughts are with you and your family. This must be so hard, but on many levels, making this inevitable decision must be a bit of a relief.

Best of luck in this transitional phase. Please pass on to your parents my very best wishes.

Heidi

Lisa said...

Oh Kathryn!
I read this last week & was just speechless. I seriously can't imagine how difficult this must be for your Mom and the rest of your family. The love and devotion you are all showing to your father gives me chills and makes me teary. I know your faith will help to comfort you during this time. Know that you have so many prayers being sent your way!!!

Hugs to you, my friend!
Lisa

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson