Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Visiting Papa

On Sunday morning my dad ended up in the hospital due to dementia related issues. Nothing like an ambulance ride to start out the week. I've gone down to UC Davis hospital every day, but today was the first time I took Noah. It seemed that all of us could use a little cheering up when it comes to being in that hospital room, and sweet Noah is always up for a good time.
He really was so sweet, especially when it came to hanging out with Papa. It was like he knew to be gentle and that Papa isn't really up for playing much right now.
After checking out the room, Noah was mostly interested in Papa's bracelets and how they could spin around his wrist.
Nana has been a truly devoted wife through all of this. Her dedication to marriage and her eternal companion is really amazing. She loved taking a break from all of the seriousness and just getting some time to spend with her favorite guy.
Parkinson's is a horrible disease. Not long ago we were dealing with the disease's physical manifestations. Then, a year and a half ago, brain surgery mercifully took care of most of it. In the past year, however, we have seen how Parksinson's is taking hold of Papa's mental function as well, and its become just ugly.

I feel like we end up mourning the loss of my dad incrementally, as the disease progresses, instead of all at once like a death.

I had always hoped that my kids would have a memory of who my dad really is: strong, smart and playful. Those traits are slipping away much faster than any of us thought they would.

So we just take this one day at a time, hold on to each other tightly, and constantly remind ourselves that who we see now is not who he once was or will be one day.

10 comments:

Julie said...

Oh Diana, I'm so sorry. I haven't seen your dad in several years, and I can see the strong, funny man you describe. I can't imagine how hard it must be for you and your family to watch him slip away. You are right though, children are like medicine. They have a magic about them, and your mom and dad are lucky to have Noah for those brief moments of relief. Please know I'm thinking of you all and praying..... Hugs to Nana, Papa, and Tina and you Boyces too!

Michele McKee. said...

My heart aches for you all - your family has always been a great light to others, and continues to be even in the trials that you are currently facing! Love you all - and will send up my prayers in your behalf!

The Davis Family said...

Dianna~ I love your family and I'm so sorry you have to go through this trial. Each one of you are a wonderful example of love, strength and dedication. It is not a fun thing to have to watch your parent struggle. I too will keep you and your family in my prayers at this time.

The Wigginton Family said...

I love, love, love your dad (and your whole family for that matter) and will definitely keep praying for you. I was so sad to read this post, and hear about everything he (and you all) are going through. I will never forget your dad's sunday school lessons where he would say hilarious things without even cracking a smile! I love his dry humor. Again, prayers are being sent for you all.

The Bradford Bunch said...

So sad to hear of this news! I will be praying for you all. But if there is anything else you guys PLEASE let me know!
Love ya!!!

The Bradford Bunch said...

insert *need*
if there's anything else you *need* let me know!
:)

L McD said...

Dear Dianna, We just heard about your dad being in the hospital tonight. So sad to hear that the dementia has stepped up. My heart aches for all of you as we all know how hard this is for you. So glad little Noah is a bright spot in all of your lives and especially your dad and mom right now as go throuh another chapter of their lives together. We don't know what each day will bring but only Heavenly Father knows what we can endure and he will give us what we need to do the best we can.
Your father was such a help to me when my dad and then my brother passed unexpectedly. He knew just what to say at a time that was so difficult. I will never forget his insight, inspiration and the comfort his words gave me.
I know little Noah will know his PAPA as he grows because you will show him pictures, videos and things that show him as we all know him to be. No, it won't be as we would like, but it is what we are given and I know you will embrace this challenge just like you, Kristina and your Mom have done with every other challenge that has come into your lives. Always know how much we love you.

We are going to Mike and Jenna's on 2 Feb for Stella's baptism and will be home on the 13th.
Please let your mom and dad know how much we love them and we will see them as soon as we can.
Love you, Lynette

jordan and maci said...

so sorry dianna! nothing worse than watching the father you know and love slip away--believe me i know! email or message me if you would ever like to talk! love to you and your family!

Brandon and Evie said...

Dianna ~ I too am so sorry you all are having to go through all of this. It is so hard to see and experience. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Little Noah is such a bright spot in all of your lives right now...thank goodness for those little blessings :)

Patti said...

Diana, I am so sorry about your Dad. your mom is a real trooper!i admire her strength! I have someone to help me everyday with Mom but your mom does it almost all the time by herself! Robyn is my rock and helpmate. I think he was a great man the little I know him.,