Saying Good-Bye

Today I went through my blog archives to see what posts I’ve written about Marc’s dad. I found this one from 2006, this one from 2009, and this one from just over a month ago.

We’ve known the day would come when Marc’s dad would leave us and we knew that day would be sooner because of the numerous health problems he has. Yet, when suddenly you are faced with the reality of it and you hear the doctor say the words, “He’s dying” … everything just sort of goes into hyper-drive.

It’s a strange mix of mourning and relief and anxiety and uncertainty. It is good that he will no longer be suffering. It is good that he will be free from the limitations that dementia have placed on him the passed years. But it also becomes a reality that this strong man who loved his kids and his grandkids and whose laugh always made you feel so good inside will soon be gone.

And I think seeing him go at the age of 76 and thinking about what dementia robbed him off for almost a decade, it makes you sad about what could have been, what should have been. There is a strange mixture in the grief over someone who’s had dementia.

This Friday Marc and I will fly out to B.C. to say good-bye to Marc’s dad while he’s still with us. I don’t know if he will know we’re there, but it’s all we can do. Go to him and tell him we love him and will always love him, and thank him for who he was — with all of his imperfections.

I don’t imagine the truth of this whole situation will hit Marc or I until we get there. But through it all we pray for peace and comfort, for his dad, and his mom (who’s been so strong and so giving all of these years), and for the rest of us who remain as he goes on ahead.

Last train to...

Posted in Family, Memories | 14 Comments

14 Responses to Saying Good-Bye

  1. Maryanne says:

    I am so sorry, Dixie and Marc. I’m sending you guys so many hugs. Dementia is the worst.

  2. Brad says:

    i’m praying for you guys as you make the trip. I feel sick for Marc and you with a mixture of joy knowing that the dementia will quickly be no more. I always enjoyed talking with Marc’s dad and loved to make wise cracks with him at Briercrest. Despite his rough exterior he had a soft heart and incredible witt. Praise God he gets to be with His saviour very soon!!

  3. Angela says:

    So sorry guys….my heart aches….praying for you all….

  4. Melanie Sleep says:

    We’re thinking of you guys and holding you up in our prayers. Been there with Dwayne in the not too distant past – losing a brother is not the same as your dad but helps us relate. Love you both.

  5. Toni says:

    It’s a difficult time – we’ll be praying for you.

    Do remember that there is life after death on this side too.

  6. Cheyne says:

    My love and thoughts to you all, and to Marc’s Dad.

  7. Amarie says:

    This is such a sad situation. You’re in my thoughts; have a safe trip.

  8. Bonnie says:

    Thinking of you all. Hugs Dixie.

  9. Joanne says:

    Praying for you as you walk this journey.

    • Pyndaplang says:

      What could be done to raise awareness and unatrsednding of dementia within communities?Lots more publicity, in every way possible. It needs to reach the younger generation too, since before my dad was diagnosed, I had never heard of it. We need more people to understand that it is not simply a case of a person in their 80 s forgetting peoples names- that is pure ignorance. If ignored it can be very dangerous for the sufferer and others around them, for example a sufferer living on their own may leave the stove on, go wandering, drive the wrong way down the motorway etc. We need communities to be communities- looking out for the neighbours. I dread to think about all those who are living alone, undiagnosed. I would also like people to be aware of the fact that it is WORSE than cancer, since it is terminal. At least with cancer some can get better, with Alzheimer’s no-one does. Some have even described it as a fate worse than death, due to the fact that physically the sufferer is still here on this Earth, but mentally, they are not. Hopefully, with more awareness, more people will donate to Alzheimer’s charities (as cancer is receiving 3x more money than Alzheimers) which will allow for more research and hopefully a cure. People who work with a sufferer need to understand more and need more training (in my opinion). After having sitters come to look after my dad for a few hours, we discovered that after having long shifts, one fell asleep (leaving my dad vulnerable to go wandering) and others not getting here on time as they are not allowed travelling time. Worse than this, the last time my dad was in respite (which was a hopsital, since my dad is young, and fit, so they couldn’t cope with him in an emi care home, there were no available emi nursing homes available), he was found to be chewing a piece of plastic, and the staff did not attempt to get it out of his mouth, and so they left him to chew this plastic in the night whilst sleeping .he could’ve choked! The staff tend to be lazy staying with the permanent residents who stay sitting down for hours, whilst the ones who walk about, are left unattended to go through the bin in the toilets.What barriers do people with dementia and their carers face when wanting to participate and access services in their local community?Prejudice. Using public transport can be a nightmare. Some of the drivers are unatrsednding, while others always seem to be in a rush- even if no-one else is on the bus! Lots of people stare, which is so annoying, some make comments, but most, due to the lack of unatrsednding, say stuff like Is he any better? . Simple things like going shopping can be really frustrating as my dad is prone to touching and picking things up, but because we do our shopping in the same place, not many people mind. If you are going further afield, you have to make sure they have disabled toilets (for the incontinent) which again makes people stare. What changes should organisations make in order to become dementia friendly?All public transport drivers should be trained in dealing with a dementia sufferer, if for example, a simple bit of patience is involved, or if a sufferer gets on with no money, gets confused etc. Same for shop staff, and more disabled toilets. Sitters should be allowed travelling time, and residential staff need more training and do their jobs better or an easier way to report them!What should communities do to make their area more dementia friendly? Which bodies and organisations should be responsible?Apart from having more clocks, maps and signs, especially in big cities, the only way you can make a community more dementia friendly, is by raising awareness so that if they see a person in town wearing slippers and they seem confused or lost, ask if you can phone a relative, or drop them off at their house, or worst case scenario, police station. Apart from having all staff in shops and public transport trained to deal with dementia sufferers, the police should take more responsibility, looking out for those at risk. When it comes to wanderers, I find the police to be very slow trying to find them raiding the same house 3 times, when the sufferer was seen walking down the road, away from the house several hours before? In fact, it was even the police who found the sufferer, but a relative.What should be the main factors to determine whether a city, town, or village is dementia friendly?Clear signposted areas, large town clocks, maps, trained public transport drivers, and shop staff, more disabled toilets, better trained police and more people aware of dementia.What examples of dementia friendly communities are already going on? What changes or initiatives have made a big difference?Can’t think of any apart from there were more advertisements about dementia and more programmes/soaps highlighting dementia. In my area, they did run meetings for carers to discuss issues, but since only 2 turned up to the last one, I doubt they are still running.

    • Anil says:

      Sounds to me like you have a yeast infection. Taking aniocittibs will give them to you. Since you had a UTI im sure they gave you aniocittibs to get rid of it. The trick is to eat lots of yogurt and or put it on the inside of your vagina. They also have medicine behind the counter that you can ask your pharmacist for and it will get rid of it within 24 hours. But the yogurt helps prevent it while your taking the aniocittibs. Puting it inside you is only if you are too late and the itch is already unbarable.

  10. jobina says:

    Thinking of you both this weekend

  11. beck says:

    I’m so sorry Dixie. My prayers go with you guys out to BC. Hug.

  12. […] And seeing her there, in the background, but present took me right back to one night in our trailer — exactly 3 years and one month ago. […]

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