Monday, January 13, 2014

Peace at Last

Dad was released from his 9 year battle with Alzheimer's yesterday.

He had a fever a few days prior, so Windsor ordered more extensive labs.  They wanted to send him to the hospital but unless it was going to make him more comfortable, I was against it.  I didn't hear back about the Lab results until Saturday.  It wasn't good.  Dad's sodium levels were critically high and his vitals were dropping.  His body was shutting down.

We called Megan and she booked flights right away.  In the meantime, the nursing staff was such a calm presence.  They made sure Dad was clean and they put lotion on his dry skin.  When my Mom said her goodbyes and left, he was tucked in comfortably with oxygen in his nose.  He looked serene.

A few hours later I was at LAX picking up Megan and her boyfriend, Erik -- we went straight to Windsor and even though it was after hours, we were able to see Dad.

He was breathing much harder and had a fever.  BUT, he knew someone was there!  And he knew someone was talking to him.  His eyes moved in Megan's direction and then back to me.  We reassured him "we're here Dad" "we love you" "hang in there".  Megan hadn't seem him in this condition, so it was even more upsetting for her.  Not easy for anyone, really.

The next morning, I woke a little before 7:00 with my mind focused on Dad.  As I got out of bed ten minutes later, the phone rang.  Dad passed away at 6:56 AM.  I almost feel like I was there with him when it happened... I am so glad that my thoughts were on him during his last moments here on earth.  Even though we were expecting this, its never easy to get that call.  Such sadness, relief, and more sadness.

Megan and I went to see him one last time.  We cried and held his hand.  His little heart tattoo reminds us of his sweet, sensitive, and playful side.

Dad, you were so brave to endure what you did.  You deserve to rest in peace now.  We love you and know we will see you again some day.  Watch over us now as we have done for you.


  1. Dear Kristin
    You are such a beautiful , sweet, talented and kind woman. Your Dad is smiling in heaven, clear and strong....knowing he left a beautiful soul here on earth. There are days I feel like I am lost for a moment. I only hope that if I ever get like that, that my family will be as kind as you have been.

  2. Kristin
    After your last posting, I knew your Dad would find peace soon. It was kind of you to share your story with us, I feel as I had a friend sharing the same battles as I. I know we are hundreds of miles way from one another, but I send you, Megan and your mom a big hug. I will continue to pray for you and your family and I ask that you also pray for me and my Dad (Federico aka Papi).

    Signing out.......
    Laura G.
    Dallas, Texas

  3. Kristin,
    I was sent to your blog by Lizzie Weiss. I lost my grandmother 6 years ago after a 9 year battle with Alzheimer's. Even though we are strangers, my heart and soul and prayers go out to you and your family. No words can help at a time like this, but please know that someone in NYC is sending so much love to you.


  4. Thank you for your comments. Laura, prayers to you and Papi. Hang in there. You are not alone.
    Amanda, thank you for sharing your experience with Alzheimer's. I know some day there will be a day without this disease. A cure is in our future. I have to believe that.

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss. I have never commented before, but I discovered your blog a few months ago as I've struggled to deal with my father's dementia. (He's a vet, too.) Thank you so much for sharing your story, your knowledge, your pain and your hope. It has meant a lot to me. I hope your family will move past the pain and find some much deserved peace.

  6. I am only, just now, seeing this... We knew Dave when he was at Whittier Place. A fun time, his Dodger hat, his 'girlfriend' Tabitha, the dramatics, and the dancing. My mom is still there (as is Tabitha.) I'm grateful for your posts, grateful to have known your dad. I'm sorry for your loss, and understand your relief. Who our loved ones are with Alzheimer's is a shadow of who they were and we rejoice they've come out from the shadow.
    Blessings to you all. Kathy

    1. Kathy,
      Thank you for your comment. Your Mom is lucky to have Whittier Place! Say hello to Tabitha for us as well. We are finally healing and will continue to the fight against this disease. Thank you for your fond memories of my Dad.


  7. I'm truly sorry to hear about what had happened to your father. It must've been difficult when someone you know and love was gradually being taken away from you by a disease. I hope the days you spent with him having Alzheimer's never affected your relationship as father and daughter in any way. I hope the whole family is doing well. Thanks for sharing that, Kristen! All the best!

    Michelle Simmons @ Comfort Keepers®