A TALE FROM THE HEART
This is a story each of us will experience during our lives – the death of a parent. My father passed away last week in his home. He was 97 years old and until about 4 months ago was still “sharp as a tack”, able to drive and enjoying life. He followed the local and national news every day and could talk politics with the best of them.
His heart finally refused to cooperate with his spirit and gave up.
We all continue to learn from our parents, no matter what our age. I watched him deal with the death of our Mom, caring for her day and night. I watched him stubbornly refuse to get the handicapped sticker or use the walker or the hospital bed until it was absolutely necessary. And then he did it with good grace.
Hospice made it possible to care for him at home. They came day and night – always with sensible advice and comforting words.
He was appreciative of all we did and always had a “thank you” for us. He thanked our Mom for every meal she prepared for him and always complimented her appearance. They both taught my brother and I the “give and take” of a successful marriage.
He was a homebody but my Mom was a little Kansas farm girl who yearned to see the world. So at age 75, when she finally retired, he found himself traveling the world. They took the train across Canada, cruised Alaska, visited the Orient, climbed Machu Pichu, and hot-air ballooned over Africa. Imagine starting these travels when you are 75 years old!
He cared for his dying father, honored his mother’s request to care for his brother who suffered central nervous system from the flu epidemic, was the last of the horse cavalry in the Army during WW II and a loving Dad , Grandfather and Great Grandfather.
On my birthday this year, I received a card from him telling me how he waited on the porch of the hospital while I was being born. “It was worth the wait”, he wrote.