Posts Tagged ‘Dad’

It’s been a very sad day today as we said a final farewell to my Mum

Margaret Jackson Watson Johnson (nee Gilchrist)

27/09/1931 – 06/09/2015

Mum 70th

I had hoped to write a tribute to my Mum today, but I’m afraid it’s just too soon for me to be able to write anything that would do my Mum justice, so I’ll save my thoughts for another day once we get back to some kind of normality (whatever that means!).

So today, I simply want to express my gratitude to everyone who has offered support and love to us during these very difficult days by phoning, visiting in person or by sending us cards or flowers. You will never know just how much your support has meant to us.

To those of you who have helped us get everything sorted out for the funeral today and helped with the funeral itself, a huge thank you.

To the many of you who shared with us today at Rutherglen Salvation Army and then at the cemetery before returning to Rutherglen Salvation Army for refreshments, thank you for taking the time to support us on this most difficult of days, we really did appreciate it.

Mum never liked making a fuss about anything, so I’m sure she would have been embarrassed by the number of people who came to say farewell to her today, as well as by all that was said about her. However, to me it simply shows how well-respected my Mum was and the huge impact and influence she had on many, none more so than on me!

Mum’s family have been a part of Rutherglen Salvation Army since the Salvation Army first started in Rutherglen, and Mum has been a soldier there for many years, so it was fitting we celebrated her life there before we laid her in her final resting place. Mum loved Salvation Army music abd she loved a “good old army march“, but as a member of the songsters (adult singing group) for many years she also loved singing. One of her favourite songs was Jesus Thou Art Everything To Me as it was also her testimony. So for you today Mum, here’s your testimony in song:

Mum you’re now at rest, and I believe you have been reunited with Dad. I miss you and Dad so much, and I will love and remember you both forever.

Rest in peace Mum xxx

Mum 1952

So tomorrow is February, and as the title of this blog post suggests, it’s a month I wish I could just miss out completely. To be honest it’s been a month that I haven’t looked forward to for a number of years now, but after last year, it’s now a month I just want to completely forget about.

Why does February make me feel like this?

Sad-memory21 years ago this February, my husband’s sister died – We weren’t married at the time. February would also have been her birthday, and this year  she would have been 50.

11 years ago this February my mother in law suffered her 2nd stroke and spent much of February that year in hospital before passing away on the 2nd March. February would also have been her birthday, and this year she would have been 80.

Last year my Dad was admitted to hospital on 4th January and on 1st February we were told there was nothing more they could do for Dad. On the 4th February Dad was transferred from hospital back to his nursing home on end of life care. He died several weeks later on 21st February and his funeral was on 27th February.

As you can see February holds lots of sad memories for me, and this year will be particularly difficult as it is the first anniversary of my Dad’s death. So if it’s possible, can I just miss out February this year please?

 

Relationship_with_God

This last week my blog posts have focused on faith, culminating in finishing yesterday’s blog post by asking you:

Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Do you have faith in Christ?

So I asked you yesterday about your faith, but what the faith of those you love, your family and friends, do they believe in Jesus Christ?

Well for me that question has played very heavily on my mind since my Dad died earlier this year. Why? Because my Dad always said he didn’t believe in God and therefore, as far as I know, he died with no faith…

Having said that, several people have told me that because Dad had dementia and therefore found it difficult to communicate with us or understand what we were saying to him or asking of him, that doesn’t mean he didn’t find God, or more accurately God didn’t find him, before he took his final breath.

I’ve been struggling to come to terms with this for months, however some words from another family member have given me some comfort – Please remember as you read this that just 6 weeks after my Dad died, my Mum’s sister, my Aunt Mae also died:

Aunt Mae was a very proud and loyal Salvationist and although your dad wasn’t a believer, he’ll be watching over you proud that you are and I’m sure he will be up there now learning about what you, your mum and Aunt Mae have spent your lives celebrating! God will have a place for him, he was a great person with a huge heart. I don’t think there’s anything for you to wish you had done more, when someone lives their whole life a certain way without the guidance, maybe its hard to adapt. Aunt Mae will be showing him the light.

god-is-in-controlEven as I write this post, the tears are streaming down my face, because those words remind me that yes, Dad professed no faith for many years, but who knows what seed Mum, Aunt Mae and I may have planted and how that seed may have grown as Dad’s dementia took him from us. I’m reminded that in the last few months that Dad lived at home with Mum, he would burst into tears during some of the songs/hymns when Mum was watching Songs of Praise on a Sunday night. He could never tell us why he cried, however I now look back on those occasions and wonder, and pray, that somehow God managed to reach Dad through the music.

I have prayed so many times in these last few months that Dad found God before he died. I also continue to pray that God will use me to influence my other family members who have not yet given their heart to God, because when my time comes to leave this world, I want to be sure I’ll be reunited with my whole family in heaven – but, at this moment I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

If any of your loved ones have not yet accepted God into their life, I pray that they too will God before their time on earth is over.

Why is it when you try to help some people you just get your head bitten off and they go all defensive about what they’re saying it what they are trying to do?

As you’ll be aware if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, my Dad suffers from dementia and so I’ve been doing my best to support and help my Mum as much as possible, particularly over the last 12 weeks or so while Dad was in hospital. I’ve been trying my best but much of the time it has felt like my best just isn’t good enough, as no matter how much I’ve tried to help and support my Mum, she’s made me feel at time like I’m not helping, or that I’m saying things that aren’t helpful, and so she gets annoyed me with.

I know Mum doesn’t mean it to come across like this, as I know she does appreciate my help and support, it’s simply that she’s finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that Dad will never be home again, and after more than 55 years of marriage that must be so hard for Mum to cope with. So I guess it’s simply been that me saying things as they really are is hard for mum to hear as she’s still finding it difficult to accept how things are with dad these days.

No matter what people say or do sometime when you try to help them, don’t ever stop trying to help them, as often those in most need are those who “push” those trying to help them away.

Stay strong and continue to reach out to those in need.

I’ve always hated the way I act, or maybe more accurately, the way I react in certain situations, however in this last week I’ve had more occasions than usual to hate myself for the way I react.

I mentioned earlier in the week in 10 Weeks and Counting, that my Dad’s now been in hospital for 10 weeks, so as you can imagine that is quite stressful and also very tiring. I’m not trying to make excuses but, I do know that when I’m tired my patience seems to go into hiding.

After 10 weeks of hospital visiting and a very busy and at times stressful time at work, and worries about other family members, I really am shattered most of the time, my pain levels have increased significantly again over the last few weeks, and I just want to curl up and sleep all the time.

I love Mum and I know she’s finding thing particularly tough at present because of the situation with Dad as well as her ongoing stresses about her sister who’s living in a care home, but I have found myself getting more and more impatient and annoyed at Mum when she tells me the same things every day and seems to still expect Dad to suddenly get better, when we all know that’s not going to happen.

Even when I’m responding impatiently or getting annoyed inwardly, at Mum, I’m telling myself off, and wishing I could be more patient. I pray regularly for patience, but still I find it a struggle. I know God has a plan for me, and that patience is not part of that plan at present, so I’m trying to keep my impatience to myself, but I am finding it hard.

So I guess until I find patience is second nature to me, I’m going to have to get used to hating myself more and more at some of the thing I say and think when I find my patience stretched.

I suppose what I’d like as an outcome of today’s blog post is that, if you’re a praying person reading this, you would say a wee prayer for me, that I may become a more patient and understanding person.

Thank you.

Due to some family circumstances, I’ve found myself thinking a lot about family members who openly say they do not believe in the existence of God, or have no opinion one way or the other about whether God exists or not.

It concerns me that there are so many people around me that I know, who don’t believe in God, nevermind the ones I don’t know!

However if I’m honest the ones I spend more time praying are actually the members of my family who are non-believers. Is that wrong?

There’s one member of my family in particular that has been in my thoughts recently, and that is my Dad – He’s a non-believer and as he’s now in the later stages of vascular dementia, it seems very unlikely to me now that he will find God before he passes away. Despite that I am trying to continue to pray that Dad will find God, as I believe nothing is impossible for God to achieve.

This has been a very difficult blog post to write, so I hope you will forgive me for the seriousness and morbidity of this post. It’s a subject which I know I am not alone in facing, and I hope that through reading this, if you are facing a similar situation, you might find comfort in knowing you are not alone.

For Dad

Posted: June 20, 2010 in family, Health, love, music
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Today is Father’s Day here in the UK. Is it just me or is this just something has had a specific day set aside for it within the last few years? I certainly don’t remember their being such a thing when I was young and living at home with Mum and Dad.

Mind you, my Dad has never believed in the commercialism  that sounds all these “special” days…Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Easter. and even Christmas. That does not mean he’s ungrateful for the presents he’s given, he simply thinks there’s more important thing we should spend our money on rather than on him!

Dad would rather those he loved had what they needed or wanted rather than him. He always used to tell me he was happy just knowing Mum and I were happy and that we knew he loved us. Just thinking about that makes me all emotional as, for those of you who haven’t been reading my blog for long, Dad has not been well for a number of months now, he sleeps nearly all the time, gets very dizzy and disoriented, his memory is practically non existent as he only seems to know, my Mum, my hubby and me these days – anyone else, including my Mum’s sister, he doesn’t seem to know who they are without being told and explained several times.

It’s very sad, as Dad was always the bright one in the house, who knew everything, and remembered everything. Dad was also a great musician, both composing and playing (trombone). He still writes some music though plays his trombone much less now.

Despite Dad’s health and memory issues these days, I still love him just as much as ever. Anyway, just thought as it was Father’s Day I’d share a wee bit about my Dad with you.

On a lighter notes though, as hubby and I have no children, but do have a cat, called Tigger, I tend to get a card and a present for Tigger to “give” to hubby on Father’s Day just to say thank you to hubby from the cat for being his “daddy”. Well done Tigger!

Having said that, Father’s Day in our household was put on hold today, as I end up having to take hubby to the hospital at 3 o’clock this morning. we got sent to a specialist hospital where he was then admitted. So I’ve spent today getting things sorted for him and then visiting him this afternoon, so we agreed to put “father’s Day” on hold until he gets home from the hospital.  

To all dad’s everywhere, whatever you were doing today, I hope you’ve had a very happy Father’s Day 

Bad Day

Posted: February 12, 2010 in family, life
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Yet again I find myself being upset by lack of friendship/care from people I thought were friends. I’m beginning to think it must be me that make people turn their back on me, and that just upsets me more.

Am I expecting too much?

If you’ve not been well for a while and haven’t seen someone you thought was a friend for several months because of that, is it expecting too much for them to ask how you are when you meet them?

Then there’s is Facebook…I sent “Friend” requests to several people I’ve known for years and considered to be friends, only to be surprised to find they’d obviously rejected my friend request. You know who you are so if you are reading this I’d just like to point out people can tell when you’ve rejected their friendship requests because they get the option to submit a Friend request again!

Hurtful and upsetting!

That on top of being in pain today and finding Mum struggling to cope with the health situations with both my Dad and my Aunt, has just made today a particularly low day for me. I just don’t know what else I can do…

I keep trying to remind myself that no matter how I’m treated by friends here on earth, I can always rely on God’s friendship – he is the one and only person who will never let me down or hurt me.

Enjoy listening to this reminder from Twila Paris called Faithful Father (just click on the audio link below):

Faithful Father by Twila Paris

Once in a while my heart gets lonely
Once in a while the night is blue
Time and again. You are the only One
I can hold on to
There never is a moment when
You leave my side
I felt Your arms around me
Every time I cried
All my life

You have been a faithful Father
I believe Your word is true
You have been a faithful Father
I will follow you

There was a fear inside my anger
I wasn’t sure You were there
Great love would prove
You are the answer to
Any honest prayer
The vessel that is empty
You will come and fill
You promise to complete me and
I know you will
I know you will

Wherever You lead me
You the passion that freed me
You whenever You call
Whatever You say

Once in a while my heart gets lonely
Once in a while the night is blue
Time and again You are the only One

Plans

Posted: January 4, 2010 in family, Glasgow, life
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Well I’ve had one of those days when I did absolutely nothing I intended to, or planned to do. Today was the last day of our Christmas/new Year holidays as both my husband and me go back to work tomorrow. We had planned after a long lie to venture out somewhere however before midday our plans were turned upside-down.

To cut a long story short, I ended up at the hospital with my Mum and Dad from about midday till after 6pm, as my Dad had a fall this morning.


However what I wanted to mention was that several times today Mum said to me “it’s just as well we don’t know what each day holds”. Sitting in the A&E of one of the busy Glasgow hospitals, you see some sights which make you very thankfull for the health we have – today was a particularly busy day at that A&E and I saw a number of very seriously ill people.

My Mum is right, it is just as well we don’t know what lies ahead of us each day, or we may not have the courage to face it!

So today I’d just like to say, don’t be afraid of what the future holds, God is with you. If ever you feel very low just think of those much worse off than yourself, and thank God for the things you do have.

I know I’ve used the following song before, but the words of it have been going through my mind all day and they fit in perfectly with how my day has gone…I’m In His Hands