Today I kept a promise.
My parents got me from the Tennessee Baptist Children's Home when I was six weeks old.
They adopted me at the age of two.
I say they rescued me… I have always been a daddy's girl.
When I was in 6th grade, I found a spot on my dad's head that was the size of a quarter.
We quickly learned it was aggressive melanoma.
The doctor asked, "How in the world did you find the spot on your head?"
My dad answered, "My daughter found it"
Doctor "She saved your life!"
I told him we are even since he saved mine.
Christmas 2020, I knew that my dad's memory was slipping. Granted, he was 83 and hard of hearing at the time, but I knew it was more.
I made an appointment with a neurologist and went home in January to take him.
He said, "Am I that bad?"
I answered, "Not yet; that's why we need to go now."
He said, "If that's what you think is best."
So we went…
It started as the onset of dementia.
And we watched; he continued to slip.
We went for a follow-up appointment on April 12, mom's birthday. They gave me the best present that day; they agreed to move to Madison so we could help take care of them.
On May 15, 2021, they moved down.
We chose an assisted living that had a memory care unit on the property because I knew.
He and I had many talks because he knew too.
He asked me one day to take care of him; you know when he couldn't. "I need you to handle things," I promised.
The onset turned to mild.
On June 1, he fell and broke his leg. We were in the hospital for 30 days. Rehab 22 days.
I am his biggest advocate! In the past 52 days, the endless conversations with doctors, surgeons, nurses, techs, social workers, Physical Therapists, PT Assistants, administration, billing, insurance, long-term care, assisted living, memory care, and assessments…. I'll make every call, take every note and advocate all the way because…. He needs me. It's the least I can do, and I made him the promise.
The fall, the surgery, the anesthesia, and we're here. Dementia.
It's so hard seeing the strong person who took care of you become so dependent on everything.
After rehab, we were unable to move him back to assisted living with mom.
This week we set up his apartment.
Today, we moved daddy to memory care.
Tonight when I was leaving, he just hugged me and said, "you did all this for me? I sure love you!"
I'm so thankful he recognizes me again; there were times at the hospital he didn't.
I love you too, daddy, and I'll always keep my promise.