There are so many nasty diseases and illnesses out there, being a nurse I’ve come across quite a few. But when it affects you and your family it’s always different.
We’ve been having a pretty tough time in our family lately.
A few weeks ago my uncle died from cancer, he hadn’t been well for a while and lived to a good old age but losing someone is never easy. He was such a lovely, kind and generous man who always had a smile and laugh for those around him. He loved his life and family and will be greatly missed.
Add to that my dad hasn’t been well. He recently needed to have surgery to remove more malignant melanoma’s; which is no fun for a nearly 82 year old. He also has Alzheimer’s which makes everything more difficult. On top of that it was his brother who died which made everything a lot to deal with.
His memory is really deteriorating and he is unable to focus for long periods of time. It makes me really sad that he doesn’t know that my children are mine and he has no memory of Tamsin. He doesn’t always remember where I live and when we last saw each other.
One of the saddest things is him losing himself. He’s not the man I remember. Old age has stolen some of his vibrancy and personality. It replaced it with paranoia and confusion.
I’m finding it incredibly difficult at the moment to be far away and not be able to help or just visit. Even calling feels difficult as we can’t have a real conversation and I come away feeling worse than before. But it’s not just about me feeling better for the calls it’s about him feeling better after the call! Sometimes I don’t see that in my selfishness.
Sometimes I just want to shout at God to stop stealing my dad away from me, I don’t want to see him like this. He is such an independent and stubborn man and losing that is hard on him. It’s hard on us too seeing his frustration.
I have the most incredible sister-in-law who looks after him and loves him and cares for him. She might not be blood but she’s as good as, even better than most of us! We’re so lucky to have her in our family.
Saying all that our family has been so blessed this year! With things that we needed, money and camping trips. And recently a trip to South Africa to spend some precious time with my dad before things get to the point where he is unable to remember who we are. To introduce our youngest treasure to the oldest man in our lives. To build memories for the kids of their grandpa when he able to get out and about and play with them. To catch up with other family members and build on those relationships set to last a life time.
It times like this where I need to focus on the good things and blessings in life, sometimes I feel overwhelmed by it all and everything that is going on and how much stuff needs to be done to prepare for the trip which is only 24 hours after arriving back from our camping holiday. But through it all God is good, He has blessed us with family and friends who have blessed us to spend time with loved ones when it matters most. He has also cleared the way with work who have told me to “do what I need to do and we’ll figure it out”.
I love my family and love that we get to see more of them now when the time is just right, now we just need to get through a 12 hour flight with 3 loud monsters!