It’s been longer than I’ve wanted it to be since I’ve last posted. I have written – oh, how I’ve written! I just don’t think I was ready to share this until now. Plus, before I post any content, I always check with my mom and Ford first to see that they’re ok with what I post. It’s been tricky because our brains have been very, very full.
And the past two weeks have been very hard for us.
When I go through something, I often need to digest it on my own first (hence all the writing and not much posting). And in this situation, as a family, we needed to experience it together and process it all.
4 days ago we put my dad into long-term care.
It’s enough to try to process that he’s in there. But now we have to also process that we don’t get to see him except through a window.
Alzheimer’s has robbed me of my dad, and now Covid has robbed me from fully visiting what’s left of him.
It’s so hard some days to find the positive side of things sometimes, and I really do try to find the positive as often as I can. So, as I attempt to understand all my feelings, I will try really hard to think of a few positives during this transition in our lives. Plus I’m just not ready yet to get into the nitty gritty about my feelings yet, let’s be honest. So… even though I’m Canadian and already had Thanksgiving, here are 5 Things I’m Thankful For, Despite Covid…
This awful disease, and now this transition, has made my mom, Ford and me closer than ever. We’ve always been a close family, but I am so thankful we are communicating so well through all this. We can call each other crying or angry or any emotion, and we just totally understand and don’t take offence. They understand sometimes we just have to let it out.
This whole process has made me appreciate my mom so much. No one knows how hard it is to be a caregiver until you’ve done it, and let me tell you – they deserve a freaking medal. And a parade. With fireworks. And infinite hugs. And anything else they want because they truly are amazingly strong warriors. Their days are so long and can be so lonely, but they continue on out of love for their loved one – despite needing contact from the outside world. But that’s another blog post…
Dad is happy. He’s fed, he’s warm, he’s well taken care of, and he has had zero anxiety being there so far. That’s so huge and gives me so much comfort.
I get to see my mom. With Covid numbers on the rise, I wasn’t going to jeopardize the health of everyone in Dad’s care facility by possibly exposing my mom (since she could have gone in there up until 2 weeks ago). Now that long-term care facilities are locked back down it is heart-breaking because she can’t go in with him, but selfishly I’m thankful I get to see her (oh, the guilt that comes with this transition is beyond measure!). Not getting to see either of my parents would have made this transition even harder for me, and I’m sure my mom too.
We knew this day was coming. I knew my last physical touch with my dad (for a very long time) was here, and – although he had no idea why – I got to give him one last hug a week ago. It started off with him patting me on the back like you do with someone you don’t know that well, but after I wouldn’t let him go, he softened and just let me hug him. He must have felt I needed it. I know a lot of people don’t get any preparation for the curveballs life throws at us, and I’m so thankful for the heads up on this one.
Some extras – My kids will get to go stay with my mom (their Gram) now and she can focus on her time with them without having to watch Dad out of the corner of her eye. She can come and visit us whenever she pleases and still get back to visit Dad whenever, too. I look forward to seeing my dad regularly and consistently…
And I look forward to the day we can see each other again without glass or a fence between us.