My Dad moved from this life to the next this morning about 3:00 Indiana time. Sylvia called last evening to say that the nurse who came in to give him his evening medications discovered him slumped in his chair, unresponsive, but still breathing. Sylvia arrived at the hospital at about the same time as the ambulance and stayed there for the duration.
Last weekend my sister, Francene, was in Indiana and brought dad out to the house. Recently he has been kind of anxious to get back to his room but on this occasion he seemed to be in no hurry and we had a good time. We ate turkey and mashed potatoes and moved into the family room by the fireplace where we watched folks come to the Christmas tree farm across the road.
As many of you know, my dad had earlier had a stroke that affected the language center of his brain. He could still understand everything we said, but when it came time to reply he would get part way through a sentence and then not be able to come up with the word that he wanted. He was worried that he was losing him memory. It was also frustrating to him that printed words no longer made any sense.
Dad took his first ever real vacation with us to Yellowstone National Park a few years back. On Saturday Sylvia gave him a book about Yellowstone to look at. As he looked at the book he would find photos that he recognized and sometime he would say, “I don’t remember that.” But fairly often he would look a photo and recognize it. He showed me a photo of Old Faithful and asked me to name it. When I said Old Faithful, he said, “I remember that!” with a kind of pleasure and amazement in his voice. I reminded him that we ate in the lodge cafeteria while we were waiting for Old Faithful to erupt. He said again, with that same mixture of pleasure and amazement, “I remember that!”
Sylvia said that she visited him yesterday afternoon and they had a very good visit. I have already mentioned that she stayed with him in the hospital even though he did not know she was there. Have I ever mentioned that I married well?
I’m in the midst of a short trip to Belize to do clean-up and planning for the new property. The cleanup is to be Saturday. Sylvia reminded me that there was nothing I could do by rushing home and so I will stay and complete this task, returning to the states next Thursday if I can change my flight plans. That will cut my trip 5 days shorter than I had originally planned but I should be able to complete most of the tasks I had assigned myself.
Just as I was sitting down to write this, Ms Athina walked into the office and said, “Here, Mr Dale, these are for you.” The students had written notes of condolence. I took a photo so you could see them and I could keep a memory.
Mr Tench also came in and shared his condolences and said that his father who was 90 had just recently passed. We smiled a bit about that fact that they died so close together, that they both reached 90 (dad was 99), that they both had had two wives, and that they both went quickly when the time came.
Finally, this morning when I needed a little alone time, I did what I do. I went to photograph the sunrise. This is what it looked like today.