I Miss My Dad

Many of you know my Dad passed away about 2 1/2 years ago. He was in a nursing home in Alabama. It was very hard to lose him as Mom died quite a few years ago, my brother died before that and that left us three girls.

Dad had Dementia. For those of you who do not know, that is a precurser of Alzheimers. You don't realize what a precious thing your memory is until you lose it. Two summers before Dad passed on, I flew down to be with him and my sister's family for a visit. I had had my hair highlighted and for the most part, I was a blond. My hair was brown and white before that (where the grey had creeped in). Dad didn't know who I was.

It's really a hard thing when you have to convince someone you are their daughter. The last night I was with him, we reminisced about things we had done together and I thought I finally had broken through to him. I kissed him goodbye and said "I don't want you to forget me, Daddy." He said "I'd never forget you." I told him I was flying back to Iowa the next morning and he said, "Iowa, I have a daughter that lives in Iowa". I went home with my heart aching.

The next summer Steve went down with me and Dad remembered me more on that trip. Of course, my hair was back to it's natural colors. We'd sit on the porch of the nursing home in rocking chairs and I crocheted on an afghan until I couldn't get my thread unknotted. Steve, Dad, and I all took turns trying to unknot this huge roll of yarn. At one a point a small boy came up and asked if he could try it, but alas, he was unable to do the job. We had a great visit with Dad that trip.

My sister called me the following October. Dad was bleeding out and near death. They didn't think he would make it through the night. Steve and I, Heather, Steve II, Josh, and their families drove down to Prattville for our last time with the father and grandfather that we loved.

The last two days of his life my family sat with him. He was unable to speak any longer. He would squeeze our hands and try to smile. When I was young, Dad and I would go for walks together. As we walked, we held hands and he would rub his finger under the edge of my thumbnail. It was something he only did with me, according to my sisters. The last day as I held his hand, I told him I was Kathy Ann, his youngest. I said "Do you remember me?" He rubbed his finger under my thumbnail and I knew he knew me.

I told him it was okay to go home now and be with the Lord. Mom and Denny were waiting for him. Dad died in his sleep that night. The nurse said it was peaceful. I have a lump in my throat now just writing about this and a strong urge to cry so I'll end this here. Treasure the family you have while they are here. Halfmoon

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