I've been trying to avoid this subject for awhile because it's still very painful. I'm coming up on a yr on New Year's Eve of my dad's passing. I remember coming home from a friend's home around 11:30 and seeing 3 phone messages from my younger brother needing to tell me the news. Seems like such a long time ago sometimes, then other times it feels like it just happened. My dad was not of good health and was living in a nursing home the last few yrs of his life. When my family and I visited him a yr ago last Sept, ('07) he was a very unhappy man. What was the hardest for me to swallow was he was in a wheel chair and looked old. I mean he was in his low 70's, but looked 90. He didn't have his pot belly which he had had for many yrs (his trade mark kind of ).
When my family and I walked into the nursing home, we followed instructions on how to find him. When the 2nd nurse asked who I was looking for and she pointed out this old looking guy, I almost feel over back wards. When I first saw him I didn't recognize him. But as soon as I looked into his eyes, then I knew it was him. He was so surprised and happy to see someone there to visit him. This place just wasn't a good place for him. I think he would have been happier living with one of his kids instead of there.
The last time I had seen him had been 5yrs earlier. Yep 5 yrs! I won't go into details as to why so long, but I'm glad I finally decided to. The nurse wheeled us into the visitors room and we sat for a few min just staring at each other. My older brother had told us that he really couldn't talk well so I was a bit nervous and having my dh and kids there didn't help the situation any. I felt like I was talking to a stranger there. We only spent 10 min there, not nearly enough time in my opinion, but this was not a place for kids. Later on, after we had left, I got to thinking that I should have sent my kids and dh out for a quick walk while I visited with dad alone. But, unfortunately we were in a bit of a hurry timewise, and needed to leave. The only good thing about the whole visit (other than getting our pictures with him) was I got my one last hug.
Earlier during the summer ('07) my brother had said that dad wasn't doing well and we all needed to pray for him. All I could think of was that I just wanted my dad to last until we could get there to give him a hug and receive a hug. I told Heavenly Father that if it was his time to go before, then I would try and understand, but if possible, a hug would be nice. Thankfully he granted my last request of my father.
So anyway, I may or may not post more about him, in the next few weeks depending on my mood. But I just had to say, despite his imperfections(and we all have those), he was a good dad. He did a lot of things with us kids growing up, skiing, walking, camping, or just hanging out with us. Alot of good memories I hope to share with my kids so they know what their grandpa was like. I miss him, but someday I know I'll see him again. Thank goodness.