Monday, June 26, 2006

Please Say a Prayer for My Dad

My Dad went back into the hospital tonight.

He's had a rough month starting with an infection while he was visiting us here, early in June, for Kate's baptism. He was treated here and we thought he would be fine (as much as that would be possible), but apparently not.

When Mom and Dad went home just before Father's Day, their plane bound for Minneapolis was rerouted to Des Moines due to thunderstorms and he and Mom were forced to spend the night on National Guard cots at the Des Moines Airport.

When he finally got home he had become so dehydrated that it was necessary to transport him to the hospital by ambulance.

Doctors discovered that he had suffered a small heartattack and needed to stay in the hospital to recover. He stayed there until last Friday and then was transferred to the local care center for rehab and because he needs full-time nursing care. Mom just can't provide that now.

He's having a difficult time swallowing so he may have a feeding tube placed so that he can get some nutrients. Due to his age and his condition, it's still very risky and I hope and pray for a successful surgery if it takes place.

Dad suffered a stroke in 1999 and has been in the care of my Mom since then. He has Alzheimer's and so it's tough to know if he remembers us when he sees us. Some days he is more alert than other days. I saw him last August when I was back to teach a class in the midwest and he looked incredibly feeble.

One month later, when I came back for my parent's 50th wedding anniversary, I was amazed at the recovery he had made. I think he rose to the occasion. He seemed sharp and alert and more engaged than I had seen him in a while. He wasn't the Dad I knew before the surgery, of course, but there were glimpses of him.

In February when they came to visit to see Kate at six weeks, he again seemed pretty alert and seemed to connect with our girl if only a bit. That was good to see. Kate will at least know her grandparents and perhaps through the images I have shot of her with my Dad and later this year when she meets Tony, Nicki's Dad, she'll remember the time that they first met her.

This last trip though was rough to watch. He slept a lot, and just seemed disconnected. I think a good bit of that was his body's reaction to battling the infection. Thankfully he was in pretty good form for the baptism itself and seemed to connect to Kate and the meaning of the event.

So please keep him in your prayers, if you pray, or think good, healing thoughts and send them his way.


Blogger Renee said...

I met your father at your sister "Ruth Anne" twin’s baptism. He was a sweet and caring man. You could see the love in his eye’s for his family.

I know how it feels to have someone you love with Alzheimer's. I saw my grandfather go though it.

With prayers and Gods help, he will give you and your family comfort.

Thanks for sharing picture’s of your father. Cherish those memories always.

Love in Christ Always

3:59 AM  
Blogger Ruth Anne Adams said...

I love you, Paul. Your talents are much appreciated on this end of the family.

4:22 AM  
Blogger Suzanne Issa said...

Paul, your father and mother, and entire family are in my thoughts and prayers. You have so many beautiful memories captured here on film and those will be a legacy to share for years to come.

With love,

10:45 AM  
Blogger Suzanne Issa said...

Paul, your father and mother, and entire family are in my thoughts and prayers. You have so many beautiful memories captured here on film and those will be a legacy to share for years to come.

With love,

10:45 AM  
Blogger Paul Gero said...

Renee and Suzanne,

Thank you for the good wishes...


12:29 PM  
Blogger Patrick Murphy-Racey said...

Dear Paul, While you spoke often of your Dad through the years, I was really glad to finally meet him and your Mom just a few weeks ago. Ellie and I have been married now for sixteen years and I can remember when dating her how I felt like I wanted to grow old with her, not just marry her. Your Mom and Dad are examples to us all. They show us that we need to help each other and also be helped as well. It would take a deep and strong bond of love to go through all that your family has gone through since 1999. Sadly, pain, love, and joy are hopelessly entertwined. They make up the rope of life which is ever strengthened in each of us as we endure suffering and thank God for the joy He brings us. I'm very happy to have been a witness to the joy little Kate brought your Dad and that they got to know each other a little bit. My prayers are with all of your family... Please let me know when your Dad's promotion is official... love, your friend, Pat

1:20 PM  
Blogger Michelle said...

Dear Paul,

First I want you to know that my prayers are with you and your family. I know this is a rough and difficult time, but believe that miracles can happen, because they do.

Thank you for sharing the photos of your father and mother. They are so sweet, and beautiful.

God Bless,

7:25 PM  
Blogger Gelfand-Piper Photography said...


Thanks for writing about your dad and sharing those touching photos. My dad died 6 years ago after a slow decline and not being able to talk for the last 6 months of his life. When seeing him that way, I would remind myself that he came into the world without words, and he was leaving the same way. Call it a soul or whatever, in each of us is an energy that has nothing to do with the ability to communicate or recognize others, and that energy is the person who is the dad you love. That your family is honoring his wishes and allowing him to maintain his digity is a beautiful gift.

Julie Gelfand

9:19 PM  

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