He has always been active, independent, and proud. And he doesn’t think he needs help. But he does.
He wanders off, he forgets important things, and he gets confused. He mixes up his medication, he has no idea what day it is, and he has difficulty walking. He blew up his microwave and almost started a fire in the house. He tries to walk to a barber shop or a coffee shop but he can’t quite make it, and security then picks him up and brings him home.
We have an aide coming in to help him, but that’s not full time, and it’s just not enough any longer. It’s becoming too difficult to care for him and make sure he is safe when he’s living alone in a big house.
So against his wishes, he will be moved to an assisted living facility. It is clean and well run, and staff and residents all look happy. They will serve all his meals in a beautiful dining room, they will clean his room and do his laundry, and they will oversee his medication. It is such a beautiful facility, I would move there myself if I could. There are so many activities scheduled every day, it’s like living on a cruise ship – a permanent vacation. And it’s only ten minutes from my house, so I could easily visit him every day.
But he wants to stay in his own home. However, because I love him and care about him and want him safe and well cared for, difficult but necessary decisions must be made. I hope there’s a part of him that understands this so that deep down he doesn’t feel like I’m doing something awful to him.
And my job is to do it with as much love, compassion, and kindness as possible to make the transition easier. Patience is not my strong suit – but when I let go and open into a space of love, patience becomes timeless, and the empathy, support, and tenderness are there.
So why does my stomach hurt? I have now booked the movers for him and scheduled the doctor’s appointment. I am filling out the forms, and I will help him pack. And my stomach is in knots.
Dad, I love you, and that’s why I am placing you in a loving and caring environment, surrounded by caring people, music, and fun activities. You will be well cared for, and you won’t have to worry about anything. And I will visit you all the time.
Dad, please trust me and know that I love you and am doing what is best for you. Just like you loved me and did what was best for me when I was your little girl. And now I’m still your little girl, and it’s now time for me to return the favor and take care of you. It’s your turn to be on the receiving end and be well cared for.
I hope I make your remaining years happy and safe, Dad. And whether or not you are aware of it, I am here for you and I love you.
Copyright © 2014 Lynn Miclea. All Rights Reserved.