Saturday, January 26, 2013

So Much Love

What we thought was going to be a very short time at daddy's bedside turned into a 5 day bedside vigil.  These have been days I will forever cherish.  My siblings came from out of town and we loved daddy together until he left our hands and went straight into Jesus' loving arms.  We sang, reminisced, read scripture and held his hand along with his wife, our "Aunt Mom".  Please don't look at these photos as sad but see them as a beautiful gift to us, his family.  We were given the gift of loving him together during his final days.  On his last morning, as we were singing around his bed, we all heard him try to join our song.  So very special.  Then at 7:59am on January 25, 2013, our daddy entered into heaven with Jesus for eternity.  So thankful for the hope and assurance that we will see him again someday.  Thank you daddy, for being the very best!

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Sunday night while I was staying with daddy is when his crisis began.  It was apparent that he had a severe GI bleed.  He was so very sick all night long.  I took care of him the very best I could and Steve came to help of course.  But as soon as they could, my siblings came from their out of state homes to be with daddy as well.  I can't express how wonderful it has been to have my family here with me during this time.  We have all shared the constant physical care of daddy and been able to love him together as a family.  What a blessing!

The Calm Before the Storm

This photo of daddy and myself was taken Sunday night.  When I got to his house to stay the night with him, he was sitting on this couch instead of in his usual chair.  I told him I was glad he was sitting there because then I could sit right beside him.  He said, "thrilling" or something similar.  He was still trying to be funny like he always is.  But I could tell he was feeling poorly.  This was the last time I saw my dad able to sit up in his living room.  I'm so glad I asked my husband to snap this photo of us together.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

A Visit from Cindy

Daddy and Aunt Phyllis spent the day with us again today as their power has remained out all day.  My younger sister Cindy, and her husband Darrell came up from NC to visit with daddy today.  We had a great day together.   After daddy's near brush with death yesterday, he seemed even more alert and chipper today.  He stayed awake for most of the day with just a few cat naps.  He seemed to really enjoy having people around.  Thank you Cindy and Darrel for making the trip up!

Daddy has asked several times today where his house is.  I think being in a different home for a few days has got him confused.  We just got word that the power at their home has come on.  Steve has gone ahead to set up heaters and make sure everything is functioning well.  We will then take the folks back home.  Daddy says he sure will be glad to be in his own bed tonight :)   He said he plans on having sweet dreams.  We should be getting them home just in time to help get daddy all settled in his bed for the night. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Good Day/Bad Day

As many of you already know from following on Facebook, daddy and Aunt Phyllis lost power last night during the snow storm.  After a lot of prayers and help from good people, we got daddy and Phyllis safely to our house for the night.  He had quite a restless night and none of us got much sleep.  However, when he got up later in the morning, he was in great spirits and more coherent than we have seen in a while.  His hospice nurse, Marcia, was kind enough to visit him at our house.  She was happy to see the marked improvement in daddy.  As you can see he had a great time with her.

A couple of hours later when I got him to the table to eat, he was alert and started eating his lunch right away.  In just a couple of minutes he became unresponsive and unable to focus on anything.  His color changed rapidly and he was clammy.  Marcia was kind enough to come back out to check on him.  He eventually came around enough for Steve to be able to get him in a recliner.  With his 02, blanket and a good nap, he woke back up around 6pm acting almost back to normal!  We pushed the recliners together and Phyllis napped right beside him.  So sweet :)

We were unable to determine what happened today.  At first we thought stroke but that doesn't seem to be the case.  Maybe a TIA, maybe atrial fib.  Just don't know and probably never will.  It was a scary thing to watch and I'm so happy to see him feeling so much better tonight.

And here are a few snow photos just for fun.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Chaplain Visit

Today, daddy got to meet Brian, the chaplain at Gentle Shepherd Hospice.  I have known Brian now for many years and was thrilled to find out he would be visiting daddy and Aunt Phyllis.  Since they haven't been able to get to church for a long time now, this is a service very much appreciated!  Brian quoted and read some scripture to daddy.  He sat with his eyes closed most of the time but was listening.  When it came time to sing however, he opened his eyes and sang right along with about three different hymns.  He carried the tune well and knew the words.  He thanked Brian for coming by when it was time for him to go.  Thank you Gentle Shepherd and Brian for offering this for daddy.

I am going to try to post two different short videos of daddy from today.  The first is from lunch time.  I just want to show it so you can see how difficult it has become for him to communicate lately.  And then the second video is of him singing.  How wonderful that even when he can't find his own words he remembers hymns and scripture!  Please disregard my annoying voice.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Sweet Goodnight

Daddy had a really rough day yesterday.  He was very confused and seemed to have an upset stomach as well.  We are still trying to determine if it was caused by a new med.  Hopefully today he will be back to his normal.  Steve and I went over to help get him ready for bed.  Phyllis was ready for bed before he went.  I only had my iPhone, but snapped this precious photo of them saying goodnight.  Melts my heart!

Friday, January 11, 2013


Today is only the second time Rosa has been out to help daddy with his bath, but I have already fallen in love with her.  She is so kind and gentle with daddy.  Her heart of love is easy to see.  She said the sweetest thing today.  She stated that she loves her job because where else could she love people right into Heaven!  Thanks, Rosa!  You are wonderful at showing your love for others.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Today was another quiet day for us.  I got over to daddy's about 10:30am.  Aunt Phyllis had an appointment to start some physical therapy this morning.  I told her to please take the day to do things she needed/wanted to do and not worry about coming back by any certain time.  So it was just daddy and I until about 4pm.  I did a couple of small chores but mostly just hung out with daddy.  I was happy for the chance to be still since I can't seem to shake this stupid sinus headache :(  Daddy slept on and off most of the day except for several trips to the bathroom and to eat lunch.  I realized that yet another routine for daddy has been forgotten.  I had to remind him every time to wash his hands.  That is something he has always been careful about before.
The good news is that Aunt Phyllis reported that daddy slept all night in his bed without getting up.  And she was able to sleep in her bed!  We sure hope this continues so that she can stay rested and healthy.  Tomorrow will be a busy day with a visit from his nurse, bath helper, and the chaplain!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Today was a much quieter day at daddy's.  Aunt Phyllis reported that he didn't fuss about his new bed anymore at all last night.  A definitely answer to prayer!  It took him a while to settle, but after a sleeping pill he did fairly well the rest of the night.  Of course she stayed right by him all night.  Hopefully she will feel ok to move to her bed tonight.  This afternoon while I was over there, he was sound asleep in his chair.  He often dreams and works his hands at something while napping.  Aunt Phyllis and I both had to laugh a little bit today when we saw him sleeping with his hand held up in the air.  He held it there for quite awhile and then lowered it with out ever waking :)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 2

Today was a very busy day at daddy's.  It started with a followup visit from his nurse, Marcia.  We also met Rosa today who will be helping daddy with his personal care.  Rosa was so wonderful with daddy.  She got him showered, lotioned, dressed, nails clipped and teeth cleaned.  And somehow she did it all while keeping daddy happy about it!  He was worn out but he smelled good :)  Thank you Rosa!

The second half of the day did not please daddy at all.  His new hospital bed was delivered and set up. 

 Although we have been trying to prepare daddy for it's arrival, he didn't understand why it is necessary.  It was very heart breaking to see him so sad about having his old bed removed.  As you can see in this image, there is no smile :(

We have a monitor set beside his bed with the other half in Phyllis's new room.  Our hope is that he will adjust quickly and she will be able to get a good night of rest knowing she will hear him if he calls for her.  She is so precious and will sit right by his bed tonight, holding his hand until he is sound asleep.  She may stay in her recliner all night but I sure hope she will allow herself to go on to bed.

I went back over to daddy's tonight around dinner time.  As I was saying goodbye to him, he said "you're a good daughter".  Those words could not have meant more to me after seeing him so sad earlier.  I pray he will be able to sleep in his new bed tonight.  I love you, daddy!

I also wanted to mention the comment problem.  Several of you tried to comment on yesterdays post.  My comment program, Disqus, was having issues.  I have removed that program now and comments will just go through blogger.  However, all previous comments are messed up.  Sorry :(

Monday, January 7, 2013


For any of you that follow my blog, you already know that I have taken time off from my regular photography business to have time with my dad.  I think I may use this space to document some of this part of my fathers last years.  So if you are looking for cute newborns, it will be a while before they are back on here.  Except for maybe in July when we are expecting the arrival of our 4th grandchild!!

Today, I spent several hours with my dad while he was admitted into hospice care.  Daddy, as he often does, perked up when the visitor, (hospice nurse) arrived.  He came to the table and sat with us for most of the admission process.  He said he was hoping for his lunch :)

His wife, my stepmother and aunt, stayed right by his side.  They are so sweet together.  For those of you that may not know, my mother died many years ago.  My dad's brother also died shortly thereafter. Quite a few years later my dad married his brother's widow making her my "Aunt Mom".  We love her dearly!

Daddy finally got his lunch that he had been waiting for and then went and took his nap :)  He used to be involved in photography.  Every now and then he will ask me a question relating to photography.  Today, he wondered why I was taking a shot with my camera facing into the light.  I love it when a tidbit of his former knowledge resurfaces like that.