|This is a photo of my 98 year old grandmother and my father. |
I know that Jon did great job with the kids. Some of the moms commented that they were all dressed for school and were fairly clean :)...so that's a plus.
Alzheimer's Crash Course
I made the 24-hour trek home by car, train, plane, another plane, and car again to basically tell my dying father goodbye. The Dr. wanted to call Hospice and we all know what that means. But, when I arrived he had awakened and asked for food! Wow! I guess they underestimated the drive to live!
I feel like I was immersed into a different world for two weeks where I learned so much about this disease while I was back in Texas. (and my mom has been in this "twilight zone" for at least two years now...pray for her, it's exhausting!)
My father has Alzheimer's and brain damage from a hip surgery.
So it's difficult to attribute which radical actions come from which horrific disease.
Alzheimer's affects the parts of the brain that control thought, memory, and language. He has lost the ability to do just about everything. Well, he can walk ...but he runs into walls. He can eat by himself ...sometimes. He can't seem to find the toilet. He calls and feeds the "imaginary" dog. He can't express simple words and thoughts. It's really surreal to see someone you love do such strange things.
My Ten-Minute Miracle
In the two weeks that I had with him my father was completely irrational and incoherent. But I believe God gave me a very lucid ten-minute window with him ...just for me! I told him who I was and he remembered having a girl named Robin. (although he was confused because he thought Robin was still a baby.) I am so thankful to God for the 10 minutes that He allowed me to talk with my father. He asked me all the right "fatherly" questions. He asked me how my family was. He asked me and if I moved back home to Texas and if my husband treated me good. When I told him what a great man I married, his response was, " I knew you would pick a good man...you deserve it." He even asked if I was having a good life. I answered yes. His response was that he had a good life,too. I began to cry ...ya know, the "ugly cry"...the one where your whole body moves and despite all your effort...sound still comes out. Then, he said ...I should have known that you were Robin because your voice is so kind and soft. He then asked if I had to go back to Germany.
That's the hardest part about what we do. We have to be an ocean away from those that we want to be with. I know that the world is so small, but it seems pretty big when I can't hop in the car and see family. Plus, my mom is always reminding me that she wants to see "her" grandchildren.
Well, enough ranting. My father will be in heaven soon. That's our goal. Heaven. It will all be worth it...but those of us left down here sure need God's mercy and grace in the meantime.