Since Oct 21, 2004
I live with my Mom, sister and brother-in-law in a fabulous house which they sis/bro-in-law) built with the plan of our parents moving to when our Mom retired. My Dad battled head and neck cancer for five years and the time for my Mom's retirement was looming. Knowing they didn't have the resources to stay in their home after Mom retired, my sister and her husband decided to build a large house on a beautiful 5 acre wooded property in the Hudson Valley. The plan was for our parents to retire here and live with them. The house is enormous so no one would be stepping on anyone else's toes. The plan was enthusiastically and gratefully accepted by our parents and ground was broken in the march of 2004.
It was in late Spring of 2004 that I returned to NY from Savannah, GA to act as primary caregiver for my Dad. His illness became such that he could not stay at home alone and my Mom had to continue working. I ended up caring for him for the remaining six months of his life. It was the best and worst six months of my life. I hated to see him so sick and I hated feeling so powerless and unable to take his illness away. I was also gratedul to be able to spend so much time with him and to be able to get to say all of the important things many never get to when in similar situations. As awful as it was to see my Dad dying, we were able to have some wonderful times nonetheless.
My Dad died on December 24th, 2004 at 12:40 AM while watching The Godfather part 2. We were up waiting for my sister, brother-in-law and niece to arrive from Laguardia Airport, where my niece was flying in from from to spend Christmas with us. He had come home from the hospital on the 22nd in the evening. He was happy to be home and fought for his life until he couldn't fight anymore, and then, in my belief, accepted death with relief and peace. He didn't want to die but the peaceful look on his facetold me that as death finally came, he accepted it and finally was relieved from the constraints of his failing body...
Now we are living in the house he was so looking forward to coming to. We remember him daily and miss him terribly. The six months I spent caring for him changed my life. During that time I decided to pursue a new path by going to nursing school. Even before our Dad died, I was asked by my sister and brother-in-law to come live in the new house while I went to nursing school. I gratefully accpeted and am now pursuing my nursing degree.
I love Free Republic and am convinced that some of the funniest and wittiest and smartest people in the US are members. I learn a lot here and take heart (especially living in NY) knowing there are so many others out there with similar views and beliefs. : )