Wrestling with Emotions — Celebrate the Day!

During these past few weeks, my dad has revived the theme of going home. I ask him where home is, and sometimes it’s Akron, Ohio with his parents. Sometimes it’s Ohio in the house where I grew up, and sometimes it’s here in Alabama. However, more and more he doesn’t seem to know where home is.

As I watch him search for “home” over and over, I arrive at the same realization. I recognize the need to emotionally and spiritually let go of my father.

Dad is not wearing the self he wants to be. He looks to find that self, the one he used to feel so comfortable wearing. However–that self is no longer hanging in his closet.

His quality of life worsens daily, and he is imprisoned in a body with a crippled mind that no longer works properly. Breathing life back into him becomes unkind, for him as well as me. My holding on doesn’t help him to gracefully end what has been a full life. In many ways I believe he is telling me he is ready to pass on. When he talks about “going home,” he just wants to be himself again and come to rest in peace. After all, when you are able to be yourself, you are “home”.

It’s heartbreaking, and I want him to know that I’m always with him in spirit. The journey is his to make and he can leave, without his body, whenever he wants. Better things lie ahead for him. I respect his wishes and want him to be able to “come home”.

As I reached my decision to let go and cope with my emotions, I decided to celebrate Dad’s life and acknowledge the wonderful father I have come to know.

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11 Responses to “Wrestling with Emotions — Celebrate the Day!”

  1. writerchick Says:

    Tears. No words.
    Annie

  2. Popsgirl Says:

    Thanks for understanding.

    Lyn

  3. Mona Johnson Says:

    Lyn, I love the way you interpret your dad’s wish to “go home.” I think you really understand how he feels.

  4. Deb Peterson Says:

    Lyn–Beautiful post. A difficult realization to make! I’ve been thinking the same way, regarding my mom, only you’ve put it into words that make it sound like a gift. Thank you!

  5. Popsgirl Says:

    Mona,

    Your reply to my post is very touching and a wonderful acknowledgement of my efforts to understand how my dad feels. I really do try and to think I’ve achieved some understanding means a lot to me. Thank you!

    Lyn

    Deb

    I hadn’t seen that my words make my realization seem like a gift. But a gift really does describe it. That’s so uplifting. Thanks so much for pointing that out to me!

    Lyn

  6. rgos927 Says:

    i’m new to wordpress, i loved this entry. very poigniant and loving. your father is a very lucky man.

  7. Christopher Wondra Says:

    Hi Lyn,

    Remember me? I got a call from Maria tonight. She told me about your efforts here, so of course I had to check it out.

    It’s a beautiful site, and a beautiful and meaningful message.

    I hope you don’t mind me commenting here. Looks like you’ve got a pretty good audience and the theme of your blog is totally relevent to a lot of people today. I lost my grandfather to this disease a couple of years ago. As the oldest grandchild I got to give the Eulogy.

    I’m also working a second job now at a nursing home, so I get to meet and make friends with quite a few that suffer today as well. But it’s not nearly the same as watching someone you’ve known and loved since you’ve been alive.

    I’m glad you are sharing this. It’s a great therapy to read (as well as write, I’m sure) for those, and there are many, who are going through the same thing.

    And you write so well! I don’t have time to read it all tonight, but I’ll be back.

    Chris Wondra (an old Freebird friend)

  8. Popsgirl Says:

    rgos927

    Thank you for your kind words. I think I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to have known my father. I guess we’re both lucky.

    Popsgirl

    Hi Chris,

    Of course I remember you! Our paths cross again, and I welcome your comments. We are all touched by the loss of our loved ones. Some go quickly and unexpectedly, and others like my dad, and your grandfather linger. I’m really glad that you and others are finding my words therapeutic. Writing is certainly a release for me, but that other people are finding some comfort or insight through what I have to say, makes it so much more worthwhile.

    With your grandfather and by working in a nursing home, you have come in contact with a lot situations that no doubt require a certain empathy and grace. I admire your ability to work in a nursing home because I think it requires a special person to do that kind of job well. I’m sure the relatives of nursing home residents appreciate your sensitivty and people skills. How unbelievably fortunate they are to have you there, and because of who you are, I know you will grow and learn so much from your experience working there. In situations where dealing with someone who has Alzheimer’s or dementia, you can either get buried in your sorrows or struggle to learn something. Lose yourself or find yourself seem to be the choices.

    Thanks for your compliment on my writing skills. How is your writing going? You are such a wonderful writer and weren’t you either thinking about writing or in the process writing a children’s book? Are you still teaching Junior High?

    It’s so good to hear from you!

    Lyn :)

  9. michaelm Says:

    Popsgirl-

    I can relate to this intense post in so many, many ways.
    I’ve known for so long that AD patients yearn for the familiarity and comfort of home.
    If you have a chance read my post titled “Birthday”.
    It’s in my February 2005 archive.
    There’s much of this post to be found there.
    hang in there, PG.
    Rainbows are just down the road.

    ~michaelm

  10. Popsgirl Says:

    Thanks Michael. I really appreciate your support. I tried to find your archives by going to your blog, but wasn’t sure how to get to archives. I really want to read your post titled “Birthday” from Feb, 2005. Just can’t figure out how to find it.

    ~ PG

  11. mmm Says:

    The “Archive” list was missing.
    It is back up as well as my ‘Search’ box.
    That might be easier. Type in ‘Birthday’ and you should find it.
    Sorry.

    ~m

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