A Tribute to My Father

by MichelleR on March 15, 2011

As an owner of Home Instead Senior Care I experienced first-hand caring for my dying father this past week. On March 14th my Dad loss his battle to pancreatic cancer.

My Dad was highly regarded in the shipping/container world. He and his buddies were invincible when they decided to travel to Asia in the late 60s and create the start of their careers. Dad’s passion was work and living his life abroad. He lived his life his way. Dad was an ex-marine and we always knew who was in charge. He made sure everything was left in good standing order to execute easily and make the tedious details easy to navigate through after his passing. He shared his life with his wife for the last 42 years.

My Sisters and I arrived on Thursday and were fortunate to spend time chatting with Dad. The last thing he said to us before lapsing into a deep sleep was “take care of yourselves, all of you”.

Each of us girls had a chance to witness moments that we will cherish in our hearts for the rest of our lifetimes.

The hospice services and team were outstanding. The people who visited Dad over the last 5 days were truly remarkable, kind, caring and respectful. When we had to place a call Thursday night into Friday morning the on-call nurse spent a lot of time making sure Dad was comfortable and providing us with details that would help him rest comfortably.

After 3 hours of rest we were back up sitting with Dad. One of us was always in the room chatting with him knowing he was listening. Friday the phone rang and my Dad literally jumped out of bed to answer the phone, which startled and surprised me.

When my Sister had to depart on Saturday she quietly spoke to Dad letting him know she needed to go home to her family. My Dad opened his eyes and nodded yes, acknowledging her departure.

Dad had another episode on Saturday night and we again called Hospice. Jaime arrived to sponge bath Dad, change his t-shirt and bedding. Jaime’s caregiving skills were excellent. She was kind, caring but took charge. She could see we were exhausted. She commented that Dad was being well cared for.

My Brother arrived on Monday about 1.5 hours before Dad passed. The will to live is powerful. My Dad was powerful.

Though we had our differences I will always love my Dad. He contributed to my birth and arrival, I contributed to being here for his departure.

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