Saturday, April 14, 2012

Goodbye Papa

The last 10 years have been really bad for him. He was diagnosed with Dementia right after John and I got married. Pat (his wife) kept him at home for as long as possible. Eventually he became too dangerous to keep. He was originally at the VA in Roanoke, VA, but eventually that was too much of a trip for everyone so she brought him home again for a little while and eventually she put him a locked-down unit at one of the local nursing homes in their hometown. He still knew who we were. They eventually finally got the correct diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia. A few weeks ago, Pat took him out to eat and he started screaming and grabbing his head. They went to the ER and the dr couldn't really find anything. Oddly enough, we got together with them for lunch last Saturday for Easter. Pat hid candy for an Easter egg hunt. Papa was doing better than I had seen him in a while. Thursday night, I got a phone call from my brother that Papa had been taken back to the ER. CT scans showed he had a bleed on his brain. The decision had been made to not treat unless they could guarantee that he would get a lot better, but the ER dr definitely said that he wouldn't treat if it was his family member. 8:30 yesterday morning I called Pat at home and he was stable. Talked to Travis (my brother) at 9:40 and he had just gotten there and Pap was a little confused and couldn't swallow, but things were still fairly stable. He called back at 9:58 and told me I needed to come. John and I left work in Raleigh, but he died 10 minutes before we got to the hospital. I am sad and hurting, but I am SOOOOOOOO happy for him that he isn't suffering anymore.

A few neat stories from him lately. Last Saturday, after we left their house, he told Pat that he dreamed about Mama and she was holding 2 babies. For those of you who don't know, my mom had a late miscarriage with her 1st pregnancy and Papa and my grandmother (Ma) had a stillborn after my mom. Another one in the ER, he was laying down on an exam table and all of a sudden, started smiling and opened his eyes and told Pat that he and Gail (my mom) were sitting at a table getting ready to eat some ice cream. (The last month my mom was alive the only thing we could get her to eat was ice cream). Now to some, this might not seem unusual at all, but we never told Papa that Mama had died. He knew that she was sick, but we didn't ever tell him after she died. Something tells me that he knew anyway because he stopped calling the house after she died.

So I am going to believe that he and Mama are together with Him and they are all sitting around enjoying some ice cream. I love you and I will miss you!!!!!


  1. joy, i am so so very sorry for your loss. i know that times have been tough and emotions have been've been such an example of strength. i wish you peace always and hope that it finds its way to you.
    such a sweet and comforting story about the ice cream. :)
    i'm sure they are both smiling down on you.
    i will be thinking about you and praying for you always.
    sending you lots of love <3

  2. thank you so much for your sweet comment today, joy!! and all the love and support you've given me.
    i was CRACKING UP at what celia said! seriously, was dying! hahahaha awww what a sweet<3 i will take that as a compliment. one of my favorite things to do is make crazy face. :)

    i hope that you've been feeling better and better and that monday was good and tuesday is even better.
    you're in my thoughts and prayers!!

  3. I'm very sorry for your loss. I lost my Papa, too. he had Alzheimer's. It's sad but you are right, at least they aren't suffering. RIP Papa.