I love my mum.
I do sort of love my dad. What I can tell you is that it’s not the love we had before. My role is now to care. I can’t get a hug from my dad because he is the one that needs hugging not me. People may think ‘how can you not love your dad’. I do but he’s not my dad anymore? I can’t tell him that I love him anymore because he’s not the same person. HE IS NOT DAD. He is simply living in a shell that looks a little bit like dad but not totally dad because of his twatting face lift all those years ago. If you can take anything from this blog it is to leave your bloody face alone. It will only make you look older. Fill it, freeze it, but don’t surgically alter your face to look younger!
So dad is not dad anymore. Today I had to leave him in his pyjamas because we could not, no matter how many times, get the pyjama trousers off and the pants on! After 20 minutes I was losing the will to live and I did not want him to see that. So I told him that the trousers (pyjama ones that were already on) would have to do! He stood and held his head in his hands and almost cried. Thankfully he didn’t because that would have finished me off today after yesterdays’ events.
Yesterday I went to visit a flat/facility which has a warden on site 24/7. I told myself, akin to looking at schools for kids, that you should assess what it provides not what it looks like; don’t judge a book by its’ cover and all that … so the cover was OK but inside the cover was not great either. What the staff could offer was amazing but ultimately you are making a decision for an adult but not just any adult as that adult is your dad, but not dad as you once knew it. It would mean dad starting all over again. I don’t break easily but yesterday morning I cried a little bit. No wee came out but tears. I am doing this alone and no matter how supportive my husband and kids are (and they are all utterly amazing to put up with his shit) it does not take away from the fact that I am the only child doing this. The others are too far away to be involved.
Dads’ English is really going and in all honesty his Portuguese is not great either but the English is shocking and coupled with the fact that conversation is flagging full stop I am concerned.
So this morning I told dad that a flat is coming up. I did not have the heart to tell him that I went to see it yesterday as I think that until he can actually see the flat in question we are wasting our time.
I told dad what they could offer, remembering that we have been unable to dress properly today.
I told dad what the care staff could do for him.
I told dad that they would help him dress.
I told dad that they would help him shower or at least never allow him to get stuck in there again!
I told dad about the food that is offered on site which would mean no more meals on wheels for lunch.
I told dad about the activities they have on offer.
I told dad that there are more men there than there are in his current block.
I told dad that every day someone would check in on him at least 3 times a day.
I told dad that eventually it is inevitable that he will need to go elsewhere for his needs.
I don’t want to move; you said did dad!
I have friends here; not really dad.
I don’t need help other then with getting dressed; erm what about the shower yesterday and that you’re still in your pyjamas?
I am perfectly capable of being alone; but you’re not alone dad you have me and your lady friend and you can’t rely on her as she’s 90!!!??
I can take of myself; someone please send help????
The questions I would like to ask are what can I do for you, what can I do to make you happy, what do you need. Sadly I know the answers to that. He wants to die. I can’t help.
8 thoughts on “Loving dad is not easy”
Oh Lucilia, I really feel for you; it is so sad for you both. xx
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Thank you for reading xxxx
Lucilia, you’re just amazing. I’ve read your blog filled I’m filled with emotion and admiration for you in the way your handling your Dad. You’re a truly a lovely person your honesty just blows me away. Bless you Lucilia! X
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Thank you ever so much. The reality is no one talks about what they do and when faced with the situation most would do what I am doing xx
So, so tough for you. Putting it all in this blog is hopefully helping you but must also be helping loads of others out there trying to deal with similar situations. Xxx
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Thanks caroline it does help but I hope it helps others xxx
I dread the day when i can no longer look after my 91 year old mum here in her home…I do my very best in the difficult times…of which there are daily occurences…but I am a realist…and at any time, the shit could hit the fan big time…and then what?…where can I place her for good care, if/when the time comes? I have taken care of her since my dad died almost four yers ago…it will never become easier….you write well Lucilia…and I miss your smiles, chats and presence, at The Leisure Centre..x
Thank you for your kind words. I think you do an amazing job with your mum; sexism aside I don’t know many men who would do what you do!
It’s good to hear people enjoy my blogs and can relate. Dad is going to have to move in all honesty but it doesn’t make the decision any easier xxxx