Once again…. life changed forever.
In my Rounding Another Bend On The Road Of Life post I briefly shared about Dad going to the hospital and not knowing if or when he will come home.
Then, in my Dad Leaves The Hospital – Cookie Visits Grandpaw post I shared how, after leaving the hospital, Dad went to Bounce Back (a rehab/therapy unit) to try and build his strength.
And then, at the tail end of my Cookie’s Final Poodle Adventure post I shared how Dad was in Hospice care (in a place called Manor Court).
Needless to say, recent months have proven to be a series of tumultuous up’s and down’s.
The Bittersweet Reality Of Life…
On February 27, 2020… Dad passed away.
It was a bittersweet ending to a lengthy chapter in all of our lives.
Amid the sadness of losing Dad there also resides a sense of relief – Dad is no longer suffering.
It’s difficult to explain how my emotions can range from one end of the spectrum to the other but I believe this is normal and I will certainly get through it.
February 27, 2020 At A Glance…
I spent the morning with Dad at Manor Court. He was mostly unresponsive but I felt the need to be there.
Dad was being kept as comfortable as possible and was heavily medicated.
Around 11:00am… I left Dad to go to an appointment. After my appointment I decided to grab some lunch at Culver’s and went to Krape Park to eat.
Normally I would have headed home but I felt an urge to go back to Manor Court… so I did.
That afternoon, several family members arrived and we all spent the afternoon with Dad.
It was almost 5:00pm when we left Manor Court.
Around 8:30pm… I received a phone call from Hospice letting me know Dad had passed away.
And Then There Was One…
I’ve spent the past 2 years (almost round-the-clock) caring for and making memories with Dad and Cookie.
And now… there’s just me.
A Premonition About The Boyz…
Cookie crossed the Rainbow Bridge exactly 2 weeks before Dad passed away.
Quite some time ago, I told Nikki I knew The Boyz would both leave me around the same time.
My intuition was right.
Holding Up During The Challenges Of Life…
I started this leg of the journey with Dad 2 years ago (becoming his Caregiver).
There have been challenges (you can’t escape them no matter who you are). But the past several months have been quite challenging… and the past few weeks have been extremely challenging.
I keep getting asked how I’m holding up. The answer is… I don’t really know but I’m doing the best I can.
Sadly, I knew how this chapter of the story would end and I knew there was no way to avoid it.
Thankfully, what I do know is… I have no regrets.
The Next Chapter…
The next several months (or however long it takes) will be spent cleaning out Dad’s house and wrapping up the lifetime of memories left behind by Mom and Dad.
Even though my Mom passed away 16 years ago there are still a lot of her things here in the house.
Once things are squared away, I plan to hit the road and resume my nomadic lifestyle.
There are things I need to do, consider or replace before I hit the road and I’ll share that story as it unfolds.
But for now… my focus is on adjusting to life without The Boyz and wrapping things up here in good ole Warren IL.
Leaving On A Happy Note…
I want to close this post on a happy note by sharing a memory that comes to mind often…
It was December 18, 2018.
Dad was feeling pretty good that day and asked if I wanted to go for a drive. I was thankful for this spur of the moment opportunity and quickly said “yes!”.
I grabbed a jacket for Dad and he headed to the car. He couldn’t get in my van so I drove his car anytime we went somewhere.
He may have been slow but Dad was able to walk and get around better back then.
After Dad got into the passenger seat… I handed Cookie to him. Cookie quickly made himself at home on Dad’s lap.
I shut the passenger side door and walked around the car to get into the driver’s seat.
But first… I just HAD to snap a picture of The Boyz!
This picture of Dad and Cookie is one of my most favorite pictures. It makes me smile every time I look at The Boyz sitting there all happy-n-stuff 😊
Our Little Adventure…
Dad wanted to take a drive past the place my Mom lived when they were dating. The place had changed a lot over the years but I tried to envision it as Dad described how it looked back in the day.
But we didn’t stop there.
We spent time driving around the back roads as Dad shared stories and adventures of his youth and long lost days gone by.
Sadly, some of Dad’s stories may fade from my memory but I’ll always remember the fun, spur of the moment adventure with The Boyz (aka Dad and Cookie).