Monday, May 5, 2014

Larger Than Life

You may have noticed that I took almost a two week break from blogging. It has taken me that long to get back into the swing of things after the death of my father.

Dad had experienced very poor health this winter. I"ve written about it (vaguely) before and he is the reason that I spent over four months in Florida, where my parents have spent each winter for years and years. Mom said she had a premonition before leaving Virginia on Christmas Day but I am not sure if it was really some sort of foresight or dementia. All I know is that it was a long, difficult winter.

Despite Dad's serious illnesses, he was actually (finally) recovering nicely so his sudden death was a bit of a shock. He asked me every couple of days, "Do you think I'll recover from this?" My answers went from a tentative, "Off course you will!" to "You're past the worst of it so all you need to do is eat well, do your physical therapy and follow the doctor's orders and not what YOU think is best!" Throughout the entire ordeal, I learned so many things about our health care system and often thought about blog posts I'd write that are particularly pertinent to elder care. That time will come.

The first week after Dad's death was a blur. My priority was taking care of Mom, packing up the house in Florida as best as I could and emptying the motor home so it can be sold in Florida. The second week, I went back to work because for me, work is the best therapy. Although my brain was still a bit fuzzy with grief, I found that I welcomed the chance to get back to my normal routine. At the end of the week was Dad's funeral, burial and reception, which culminated with the entire party saluting Dad with a shot of his favorite beverage, Jack Daniels.

I miss my father but he is still with me every moment of every day. From the time I awaken to when I close my eyes in the evening, I'm reminded many times of his laugh, his philosophy on life and how his physical presence filled every room he entered. 

Make sure you tell your Dad how much you love him. I said those words every day this winter and I'm glad I did.