The Hardest Day of My LIfe

The other day, my husband and I moved my dad into an Alzheimer’s Board and Care. Dad didn’t understand what was going on, but he was cooperative. He thinks this is very short-term…so we’ll deal with that, little by little.

I hadn’t slept well the night before. After dropping my son at school, I stopped by a coffee shop. The barista asked me how my day was going. I looked at him… and burst into tears! His kindness took me off-guard.

The barista looked bewildered until I explained that I was taking my dad to an Alzheimers’ facility today. Then his face filled with empathy and he called me Suzie…something I ordinarily DO NOT TOLERATE but… under the circumstances, I let it go.

The entire day felt like someone had died. I had to remind myself over and over that this move was in Dad’s best interests (it really is…he can’t take care of himself and he’s getting too difficult for Mom).

Still, not an easy thing to do.

Steve was kind enough to come home early from work, so we moved Dad in the late afternoon, just in time for dinner (a well-planned moment). My mom, bless her heart, will stay with him for a few days at the Board and Care, to help establish a routine.

Sad to see how convulated Dad’s logic is that it made sense to him to move his bed to a hotel. But…it worked! And his room looks great–big, roomy, a TV and a little fridge, a patio for his bird feeders.

That night, I felt about 150 years old when I went to bed. And yet…there is an “and yet!”…I felt so relieved. Dad really needs more care than any of us can provide and it felt wise and good to share that load with professional caregivers. I think I haven’t quite relaxed in my own home for over seven months.

So, that dreaded day is behind me. And Dad is happy. Well, about as happy as he gets, which, these days, isn’t very.

About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.

Comments

  1. Delia Latham says:

    Suzanne: What an amazing attitude you have through all of this! I know so well what you’re going through. My beloved Daddy had Parkinson’s Disease, and we eventually had to put him into a home, too. We put it off for soooo long, not wanting to give in that none of us could care for him properly any longer. It was a relief to hand over the lion’s share of his care to more capable hands, but it also ripped my heart out to leave him there with no one who “loved” him.

    I admire your positivity … and you (and your Dad) will be in my prayers.