December 10, 2009 – OUR DARKEST DAY




**Click to WATCH this LOCAL NEWS STORY!!**



If you’ve been following my blog, you know I have been posting my story retroactively and linearly, starting with my dad’s initial diagnosis on April 10, 2007.  Staring today, I am shifting the story’s angle to present day.  Going forward, I will designate a REAL-TIME, CURRENT DAY BLOG by italicizing the entry.  This will enable me to update you in real-time about what’s going on in my life (like a true blog), while still allowing me to fill you in intermittently on the past background of the story.

Here goes…


Yesterday morning I received the most harrowing phone call from my mother.  From her voice, I could tell that either someone had died or she was finally having the long-awaited breakdown.

MY PARENTS HAVE BEEN ROBBED AND ALMOST ALL OF OUR FAMILY JEWELRY HEIRLOOMS ARE GONE!!!  My father’s wedding ring, his engraved pocket watch, his $20-gold-coin-and-diamond money clip – all items left to us kids in their Will – GONE!!  Countless rings and bracelets, necklaces and earrings of my mother – GONE!!  Fifty years worth of gifts signifying the love between them have been grotesquely ripped from our lives!

The most harrowing part of the story is that the police investigation is focusing on the 4 in-home care workers who have been helping us take care of my dad over the past number of months; people who have been entrusted with a security entry code and endless hours alone in our home.  One of these people had enough time to locate a hidden safe and learn to crack the code!  One of these seemingly-caring people entered our home under the guise of helping us care for my ailing father and they STOLE from us the only remaining precious items we’re about to have left of him!!

How COULD someone?!!!!  My poor mother had a breakdown yesterday.  I’ve never seen her so distressed nor cry so hard.  She said she can’t do this anymore.  She’s at the end of her rope.  She’s desperately trying to hold on, but it’s fraying.

Here she is being the most courageous and loving person, caring for my dad 24/7 (all while her heart slowly breaks into a million pieces!), finally trusting someone enough to let them in to help share the burden of care giving, finally getting some much-needed sleep, and they do THIS to her?!!!?

After a long, emotional and exhausting day, the bottom line from yesterday is that a crime report has been filed and the in-home care companies have been fired.  Which brings us back to square one: No support system is in place to help us with Dad!

Together Mom and I made the heartbreaking and anguishing decision yesterday afternoon to finally place Dad in a nursing home.  I called Sunrise Assisted Living and committed to a room for Dad beginning January 1st.  When I hung up the phone, I thought I was going to throw up in my lap.  I’m still crying as I type this. This means we have just 3 weeks and 1 day left of our life with Dad at home. 

The fact that someone took advantage of my parents while they are suffering and in such need and distress is severely disheartening, to say the least.  It makes you sick to your stomach.  It almost makes you disappointed in humanity. 

But then my brother and I sent out an emailed cry for help and support last night to our family and family friends – and the outpouring today has been enormous!  It’s these gestures that snap you back and remind you of how much goodness there is in the world.  Thank God we have THESE people surrounding us in our life, helping us to our (proverbial and emotional) finish line.  Because, as Mom and I have learned, we cannot do this alone.

11 Responses to “December 10, 2009 – OUR DARKEST DAY”

  1. Aunt Kathy said

    and you don’t have to do it alone. There are so many that love you and your family. We will be there for you not only for the next several weeks, but forever!

  2. Deb said

    I cried as I read your blogs. Aunt Kathy is right, you NEVER have to do this alone. You have such a huge support system with family and friends who are willing to help take up some of the slack. I love Aunt Fran and Uncle so much and it breaks my heart to see them both go thru this. But as you said in one of your blogs, maybe this is all just part of the big picture, your dads final gift to you about life!!
    Love you!!

    • Thanks for taking the time to read it all! xo I’m just putting all my observations and experiences out there, believing that Good will ultimately prevail from this experience, either for me or my family or others who hear of our story.

  3. Michelle said

    I’m here if you need me. xoxo

  4. Kare-bear said

    While feeling completely consumed by the saddness of the situation, I can’t ignore the little voice in my head that keeps saying, “What would FA do in this situation?”. And without a doubt, I know what my FA, my Godfather, would do, he would try to make us smile… He would do a trick, or tell a joke just to lighten the mood. And so, for him, I will tell you my very favorite story about that golden money clip…
    While I don’t remember the year, I do remember that it was a sunny summer day on Novi Rd. FA had stopped by for something and I was out in the yard. As he put the car in reverse, he motioned me over to his side. I went hauling ass across “the circle” to the center portion of the driveway… I ran because A: my favorite uncle wanted my attention and B: because when FA wanted your attention, it was usually because something funny was about to happen.
    So there I was, standing next to his car, with the top down, in my jean cut offs and a bathing suit and my barefeet trying to tread softly on the infinitely sharp rocks. He looked at me sideways and gave me the classic FA smile as he reached into his pocket and pulled out his money clip in that “sleight of hand” fashion that was so uniquely him. Without even seeing what had happened, his fingers slid across the top, leading his palm and quickly closing into a fist which he pointed in my direction. His hand then covered mine, placed a dollar bill in my hand, and curled my fingers tightly around it. With a quick wink and an, “I love you” his car was in reverse and heading down the straight away, past the tall poplars and almost to Novi Rd before I looked down to find a hundred dollar bill in my hand! Not only was it the first I had ever held, I am quite sure it was the first one I had ever seen! All these years later, I have no idea how I spent that hundred dollar bill, but all I have to do is close my eyes to feel the rocks pushing up on my feet, see the sun glinting off his money clip, hear him calling my name and know that I was blessed to have him for my Uncle.
    Hope this memory brings you a smile, no matter how fleeting! Love you more than 10,000 alligator clips! -k

    • WOW. What an amazing story!!! Thanks SO much for sharing that! How COMPLETELY TYPICAL of my dad to do something sly and fun and clever and thoughtful and loving and generous!!! That single story sums him up perfectly as a person! Boy, I REALLY MISS THAT GUY… (crying) 😦 Love you!!!

  5. Roommate Frances said

    That is what family & friends are for!

    Love you roomie!

  6. Jennifer said

    I read your story on and I am so sorry that this has happened to your family. It makes me sick to my stomach to think of these theives stealing from you. I hope they lose their nursing license and go to jail.

    My MIL has a different form of dementia. It is very heartbreaking. She at least remembers all of us but she can’t remember what happened in the short term. A mixed blessing.

    • Jennifer, your poor family. I think it’s hard for people to fully understand dementia if they haven’t gone through it (which I suppose is true of anything). Quite frankly, I’ve gone through it – and I still don’t FULLY understand it! In all my months/years of trying to research it and be prepared for what comes next, I’ve found that it’s hard to prepare for things that constantly come at you from left field. It’s just such a COMPLEX illness that overwhelms your life in a million UNimaginable ways. My heart and prayers are with you. May you be surrounded by peace, calmness and love during this time and through the Holidays. ~Joleen

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