Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Dad's Visit

Last October, Reid received an alert from Ticket Master. There would be a Bill Gaither concert in Fort Worth in April and he called to see if I thought that would be a good present to give my mom and dad for Christmas. I immediately agreed. It would be fun to have them come visit and to see a concert that they love. 

Two months passed. It was the middle of December when my dad realized something had changed. She hadn't slept in a few days, wouldn't drink or eat, she was combative and it took a lot to control her. The plan was to have her taken to the hospital to get fluids. When she left in the ambulance that afternoon we never imagined that she wouldn't come back home.

As many of you know, she spent nearly three weeks in a geriatric psych ward (through Christmas and New Years). After being released, she has lived in a nursing home where she receives full time care.

So, how does any of this relate to my dad's visit?

Well, I did still give my dad the concert tickets, and told him I was excited to go to my first Gaither concert with him. This past weekend I did indeed attend the concert and it was a lot of fun. More than that, it gave my dad and me the chance to reflect over the past three months. 

This past weekend was his first weekend in six years to leave my mom in Little Rock. He hasn't gone anywhere without her since she was diagnose with Alzheimer's. I've never asked if that was intentional on his part, but I know this weekend was hard for him. It seems the "firsts" of everything are always so hard. The first holidays, birthdays, babies, trips, etc. The confusing thing for us is that she is still physically here. There is an immense guilt we carry as we continue living (as she would want), but at the same time praying for her to be taken to her Heavenly Home. 

There were so many emotions we both felt this weekend and I am really glad that we feel comfortable sharing them with each other. 

On a happy note, my mom was able to go on her first outing away from the nursing home. She went to Sheridan, AR where a lot of our family lives to eat lunch and spend the day outside. She had a great time, and so did my Auntie Joye and Mimi. We are also very thankful that she didn't have any problems going back to the nursing home. We are looking forward to trying to take her down there for Easter this coming weekend.


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