It’s been quite a while since I added to this blog. To be honest, it’s been hard to even know what to say or where to begin.
To say this year has been overwhelmingly challenging, difficult, painful….. Oh my gosh, I could go on and on. I honestly don’t remember a time where I’ve experienced such a myriad of emotions….all at the same time and for so very long.
So this is going to be a ‘bit’ of an update….
We lost my second father 3 days before Christmas last year. He had been in hospital for most of the year, being discharged a couple of times but having to be readmitted because his ambulation and mobility was decreasing and my mom just wasn’t able to take care of him the way he needed. Even though she is amazing for being 94 years old, it was just too much and put her health and well-being in jeopardy.
Around March of last year, after he was discharged the first time from a hospital stay of a month or so, it was clear that some significant changes needed to be made. Living in a two-story home – even with a chair lift for the stairs – just wasn’t going to work long-term. So our oldest son took on the monumental task of designing and building a granny suite in what was the garage of our home. All the kids pitched in to do whatever, whenever they could. But with Covid, setbacks, and all the pre-existing structural problems that we were unaware of, it took much longer than we anticipated. Sadly, Paul passed away before it was ready for them to move in. That was devastating for us, but as I have pondered this reality, thankfulness replaced the disappointment and sadness. I know Paul couldn’t have stayed. His care needs were just too great and even with the maximum homecare he qualified for, it would not have been enough. He needed round-the-clock care….and that just wasn’t feasible here, which would have meant nursing home care and he never wanted that….ever. As much as it hurt that he didn’t make it here, it would have been beyond heartbreaking to have to tell him he couldn’t stay. And, as I said to the kids, at least he died in hope looking forward to something, not in despair.
So this “part one” of the update is dedicated to him…. The man who came into our lives when I was 18 or 19 after losing my father and became the most amazing father and grandfather to our crew. He teased and laughed and taught and built anything we needed built. He’d drop everything if we needed him, no questions asked. The nurses who cared for him have told me repeatedly that all he talked about was his family…..all of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren…..we were all the joy of his life.
He loved the internet but could mess up a computer in ways that I couldn’t even begin to, no matter how hard I tried, even if I tried to do it on purpose!!! I remember the day we visited and he informed us that he needed a new mouse because his computer was slow!! Of course, it had NOTHING to do with the popups that he ‘didn’t’ click every time they appeared!! LOL
He had his quirks, his idiosyncrasies, and his funny notions, and he had a heart of gold, took the teasing as well as he gave it, and created a legacy of unconditional love and acceptance.
You are missed, Paul….more than we could ever say. But there’s never a day that goes by that you’re not remembered, honoured, and loved…. You will live on forever in our hearts, our thoughts, in the choices we make and the lives we live.