Skip to main content

Thankful Thursday

Dear God,

Today I am thankful for the people who took care of my father the last years of his life:

The nurses and staff at Kingsland Hills Care Center, especially Betty who drove him to his appointments and called me with updates, Carol the social worker who bought him a birdfeeder and put it outside his window, Dorthy the business manager who shared a love of books with him and placed his orders to Amazon, and Erica his most recent nurse who was on the verge of tears when she called to tell me he was dying.

The staff and volunteers with Llano Hospice, especially Barbara the nurse who called to tell me, in a gentle way, that he was dying, the minister who eased his soul and helped him die a peaceful death, the volunteers who visited him to make sure he was not alone during his last days.

Dr. Kim Russell, his primary care physician who managed his health care for all of his physical problems (metastatic melanoma, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, pneumonia, UTI). It was Dr. Russell who finally gave me straight answers about his medical condition and prescribed hospice care when I was near the end of my rope with his disintegrating health and frequent hospitalizations.

To Ray at Putnam Funeral Home for his kindhearted approach (and sense of humor) while discussing the business details related to the cremation. For asking if I wanted to pick up the ashes or have them mailed to me. Just knowing I don’t have to drive four hours to pick up his ashes is such a relief. And, who knew they could send them through the mail?! Such a small thing and such a big help.

I want to offer a special thank you to all of the above people who did not judge me when I declined to visit more often or have a more hands on involvement in his care. More than once I had to tell one of them that we were estranged and that I would not be going to his bedside when he was dying. I had to tell perfect strangers some painful family details and frequently cried while talking to them or immediately after hanging up the phone.

My final feelings of gratitude and love are to my friends Susan and Sue, my daughters Maggie and Joanna and to my husband Colburn for holding my hand, literally and figuratively, during these past few months. It was difficult for them to watch me suffer, rant and rage about Dennis/Daddy/My Father and then to cry tears of grief at his passing. But one of the facets of my life is that I was a Daddy’s Girl when I was little and “Daddy” was a man who, more often than not, chose the dark side. I mourn his passing, but I am also relieved of the burden of his life in this world.

Now I wish him eternal peace while he gazes upon the face of God.
*****
This prayer was sent to me by my friend Lynn:


O Lord,
support us all the day long of this troubled life,
until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over and our work is done.
Then, Lord, in thy mercy,
grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest,
and peace at the last.


(a sixteenth-century prayer used by Cardinal Newman, 1801-1890)

Comments

Susan said…
You don't have the right box to check on this post, so I will add my own:
I think this is lovely.
xoxo
Carla said…
I know how you feel - I have walked in your shoes. I did not have a healthy relationship with my dad - his choice. He threw away 2 daughters while focusing on his son. His death caused mixed feeling with me - from apathy to sorrow. My dad was an out of sight*out of mind kind of guy. He was solely about himself in every way. Married 5 times with no concern for the welfare of others. I was sorry for his suffering at the end of his life and hope God watches over him better that he watched over me. He is with his son now - that is all that he needs.

Carla
Kim said…
I agree with Susan that this is a lovely post. The prayer is especially wonderful. When my grandmother passed away after being in hospice care for about a month, my mom kept in touch with her nurse for awhile afterwards. The people who work in hospice care are amazing, like angels on earth.

Popular posts from this blog

How to Clean Copper After Annealing with a Recipe for Non-Toxic Pickling

This is not your grandmother’s pickling recipe. I’m pickling copper bangle bracelets instead. As you can see by the previous post, I’ve been annealing copper bracelets this week (my first time was Sunday evening). To give you a point of reference, these bangles were dark brown, almost black, when I put them in the pickling solution.

Today I used a recipe for a non-toxic pickle to clean the oxidation from the copper. It was simple: 1 cup white vinegar and 1 tablespoon table salt. I heated it in the microwave for 30 seconds in a glass jar and then put it on my husband’s coffee cup warmer. To test it I stuck a piece of annealed 6 gauge wire in it, and it worked beautifully. I only had to brush a little of the black stuff off, and it was bright, shiny copper again. Better yet, the brushing didn’t take a lot of effort.

Feeling very successful I doubled the batch and dropped all six bangles in and left them for about 15 minutes. When I came back the black was flaking off nicely and floating…

Joseph Cornell’s Boxes

Boxes by surrealist artist Joseph Cornell
“Shadow boxes become poetic theaters or settings wherein are metamorphosed the element of a childhood pastime.”
Joseph Cornell was not a sculptor, a draftsman, or a painter. This internationally renowned modern artist never had professional training. He was first and foremost a collector. He loved to scour old book shops and secondhand stores of New York looking for souvenirs, theatrical memorabilia, old prints and photographs, music scores, and French literature. 


Cornell was wary of strangers. This led him to isolate himself and become a self-taught artist. Although he expressed attraction to unattainable women like Lauren Bacall, his shyness made romantic relationships almost impossible. In later life his bashfulness verged toward reclusiveness, and he rarely left the state of New York. However, he preferred talking with women, and often made their husbands wait in the next room when he discussed business with them. He also had numerous friend…

Eulogy for a Difficult Mother - what I wish I’d said at my mother’s funeral

I fell in love with my Mother for the first time on the night she died. It was May 20 of this year. Less than two months ago.

That doesn’t mean I didn’t love her before. I believe that all children love their mothers, but all mothers don’t necessarily love their children. My mother was a loving woman, but my sadness is that she loved her husbands more than she loved her children. In spite of that I always loved her. Every day of my life.

Mother had a difficult time living with bipolar disorder in a time when the only treatment was hospitalization and useless counseling, and the medications for it were toxic. It wasn’t until the last decade of her life that everything came together for her, and she was able to live well and with some peace.

On the evening before she died her husband called to say she had not awakened that morning but she was still breathing. Her doctor told us two or three years ago that she would not suffer with renal failure and that she would gradually lose energy,…