My Father died this past week after 7 years of prolonged paralysis from a stroke which followed a heart attack. He was very limited as to what he could do, due to left sided weakness from stroke.
Before the stroke, my father was very active, he loved to be outside and his fav thing to do was cut down trees. To him there were so many trees and so little time.. ;) He love Nascar and bowling, he had a very competitive edge, he was a retired teamster and took pride in his job!
When I was young and just bought my first car, he would check the air in the tires and all the fluid levels on a weekly basis, and put gas in it. It was just his way of saying I love you; he never said the words out loud unless I said them first, but he showed it in so many ways. I never doubted my fathers love.
He had his faults in my mothers eyes, and I'm sure they were warranted, however, from a daughters view, he did no wrong. I am a nurse, so I had the honor of having my father at home and being his hospice/caregiver to the end, and it was something I would do again.
I was there alone with him when he took his last breath, and there was a peacefulness that came with it. I will treasure that moment for the rest of my life, I have done hospice in the past and enjoy it very much. I had the pleasure of taking care of my father-in-law 2 years ago when he passed over. and my family was unsure if I would be able to do the same with my own father.
I had my own doubts in the beginning but they were small, I think it is the most peaceful thing to be a part of. I don't attend funerals or funeral homes, I just don't prefer to have that as my last memory. To some that is strange, but we all find our own way to cope and for me it's hospice. I will miss my father, but I will have his memories forever and with that I will have to move forward.