Monday, August 25, 2008

Busy. Frantic. Hectic. Lively. Swamped. Tireless.

Things around here have been ALL OF THE ABOVE. Not just one of them, but all of them. Never, ever say you are bored. I learned that lesson a long time ago. If I was to ever say that "I was bored" around my Dad, he would find something for me to do and I would be busy for hours.

Way back in March, my husband and I were talking about things that needed to be done around the house. Not things like laundry and picking up the toys and dusting. Things like replacing the carpet in our bedroom (that an iron was dropped on), repainting the bedroom (since we were thinking of tearing out the carpet), replacing the window in my daughter's room since that is rotting out. We came to the conclusion that we needed to call in reinforcements. I called my Dad! We picked a time when he was available and I booked his flight. April 3rd to April 15th. We were set, I was very happy to have him come out as we were not planning on going to see him and he was not planning on coming here because of the gas prices. The flight cost less than gas costs to drive here.

My husband and I start tearing apart the bedroom, we end up sleeping in the living room because we needed the floor completely empty to install wood.

My Dad arrived and we started working on the list. That Saturday, we were having lunch and hubby's older brother called to say that his Dad fell and can he come over. This was the start of a long few months of rehabilitation and deprivation, which in the whole scheme of things, was way to short of a time. From there to here went by in a flurry, but at the time, some of it seemed like it would never end.

My Dad's time here went by very fast. We didn't get to the list, only to the bedroom floor and walls. Hubby's Dad came here to live with us and rehabilitate. So we had 2 Dad's staying for about a week. We moved our stuff into the study and the study's stuff out into the living room. And hubby's Dad's stuff into our bedroom.

Caring for my husband's father was tough and chaotic and emotional and necessary and busy, but it is something I would never hesitate to do. I wish I could say he had a zest for life, but sadly, I cannot. In the end, that is what got him, a failure to thrive. He simply did not want to live anymore. He spend the last 18 years living without his wife. The friends he had were neighbors and they started to get sick and move away (either with family or into a nursing home). We started asking him to move in with us 10 years ago. My only regret is that he didn't move in sooner.

He was with us for 8 weeks when he got too sick and we took him to the doctors. She immediately put him in the hospital for dehydration. He was to be in for 24-48 hours. After the first day, they realized that he was not going to be well enough to come back home. It took 10 days in the short-stay portion of the hospital for them to find a place for him. He ended up in a hospice facility. It was a great place full of great people who really cared for him. They said it would take 7-10 days for him to pass. He was coherent and refusing any nourishment. The first 7 days were gruelling. My hubby was off work because he wanted to be there for his dad. His other 2 brothers were there too. After that first week my hubby and the one brother HAD to return to work. My hubby would go to the nursing home before work and after work. Sleep was negligent. His brother worked 3 hours away, he returned to work on Wednesday and came back Saturday night at about 9 pm. The oldest brother, who does not work, was in when the the other 2 couldn't be. 16 days after he entered the hospice facility, he passed. It was Sunday June 22nd. The day before, everyone had the chance to talk to him - he was still answering questions with hand gestures. You could tell he could understand everything you were saying.

God bless him and may he be at peace now.


AKA......Kathy said...

(((HUGS))) Dot. You've had so much go on in the last few months. I hope your Autumn is a time of rest.

God Bless Your Father In Law.

Dot said...

Thank you Kathy.

truth said...

Such a busy time in life. I think you know we moved my inlaws (81 & 85) here last year. I just came back from being with my family in Arizona. My mom is having a health issue and it is so hard being far away. I do have 3 siblings down there, but they are not ready to be in the role of helping their parents. It was a shock to them. My brother said "mom and dad have always been the ones to take care of everything. I don't want that responsibility." But that is where we are. I think it helped that I am already there with my inlaws and yet still caring for my own family. Sigh. I'm glad things worked out so well for you. How is your toe???

Dot said...

Thank you for your comment, Joanne. I hope your mom is feeling better very soon. I know what it is like to be away. The rest of my family is out-of-state.

My toe will take 8 weeks to heal, but I am allowed to walk on it - just carefully.

Kristin said...

So sorry about your FIL. It's so hard when they lose that will. What a summer you've had! I hope you can be renewed this fall. I think it's neat that your dad could come and help you. Sounds like a handy guy!