Thursday, June 30, 2016

Why we LAUGHED at the funeral...Not what you might think.

I was the only “child” to see him before he died. I have NEVER felt guilty, not for 1 minute. I am so glad I got to visit him before he passed. Cindy lives in Florida. She was taking her state final to be an optician. Bad timing, for sure. Brenda was out of town on a vacation.  My brother had just returned from Europe,  battling a blood clot he had developed on the trip. Everyone was angry when I called them to inform them of the death. Those were terrible phone calls to make. 

I had to arrange the funeral because I was the only one there.  My best advice is to PRE-PLAN your parent’s funerals! It is so much easier and less stressful. We pre-planned my father-in-law’s funeral and it was so easy. THIS was a gut wrenching experience. 

There was no one but me to try and comfort my mother. She was like a zombie. It was a complete surprise to her that he died, and she did not know what to do. As we were at the funeral home, stressed beyond comprehension, I kept getting calls asking questions and challenging all the arrangements. I tell people that a family member wanted us to go to “CASKETS R US” and not buy our casket there. I was ready to start screaming. I vowed never to wait until my mom died to make arrangements for her, and let someone else be in charge. Not me. This was one of the most horrible experiences I have ever had. I felt helpless and powerless to help my mom, love her, and make good decisions while I was struggling as well. I never had a warm and fuzzy relationship with her, and lately all she had done was accuse me of stealing and coming into here home when she was gone. This was the worst day of my life. I wasn’t even sad dad had died. It was almost a relief, yet I wanted to be sensitive to her. We postponed the funeral for 7 days so Cindy and Brenda could be in town for the services.

Note: Funeral homes make most of their money on the caskets. There are other ways to save money, which will be detailed later in the book. I talked to a former funeral director and he gave me some great tips.

The funeral itself was nice. LOTS of people showed up, mostly friends and co workers. My brother was unable to attend, because he was in the hospital for almost a month due to the blood clots. Because he was hospitalized, I asked the director if we could hook up to Skype so Dan could see what was going on. It was the first time they had ever done anything like that. We set up the laptop and people who were Dan’s friends and clients paid their respects and talked to my brother on the computer screen. Luckily there was a young man at the hospital who helped Dan set up a connection on his end. His long time friend, George, made sure people talked with Dan and didn’t miss him. It was really good we did that.

I can only imagine how awful my brother felt not being present at this time. Even though he had a difficult relationship with Dad, he still wanted to be there. It was extremely painful for Dan to not be there, which we found out during the service.

A mass was performed at the funeral home at my mom’s request. The priest had never met my parents. Luckily my sister is Catholic. The priest began to talk about Harry’s life and family. My mother had given him a lot of information to use in the eulogy.

Apparently, Dan was overwhelmed and beside himself. I think he felt guilty and angry, all at once.  He had no idea that people could hear what he was saying on the speaker of the laptop. All of a sudden we heard loud sobs and the F word, repeatedly. “Oh F…Oh F… Oh f…”  We could hear my brother swearing on Skype, louder than the priest.  (It was very surprising to hear that during “church.”) 

At first I thought, “Is he saying F…?” Then his wife LEAPED  out of her chair and ran to the laptop, turning the volume completely off.  I felt really bad for Dan, but it was SO funny because that is not supposed to happen at such a solemn moment. We all had to compose ourselves. It reminded me of a sitcom I once watched where someone started to giggle at a funeral and could not stop.

When the priest stopped, my sister, Cindy, gave a very nice talk about our childhood and some memories. I think Dad would have been glad that she found such nice things to say.

We buried Dad the next day. It was just us 3 kids, my mom, and Dad’s only surviving sibling, Tina. We even got a “buy 1, get 1 free” gravesite because Dad was a Veteran and there was a special going on that October.  Brenda  ordered a lovely headstone that had both parent’s names on it. It is really creepy to see someone’s name on a headstone before they are deceased. (mom) It was just another “better deal” so that is how it was purchased.  We did not put the stone in the ground until the following year, when it was ready.

Little did we know more difficult challenges with MOM were ahead.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


One Day I got a call from K House.  The lady said, “Your dad is ok, but we notice something is declining. He isn’t eating and he is less responsive. His vitals are all good. Just FYI.” 

That night I had a dream. I believe it was a warning about something to come. Dad was lying in a bed and the bed had a vase of red roses on it. When he stood up he had no shirt on. He was a younger, more vibrant version of himself. He looked at me and spoke boldly. “Sandra, I can’t take this any more. Do you hear me? I can’t take this any more.  I just can’t take it.”  He said that 3 MORE times. Then he went back into bed. I woke up.

I told my best friend, Jean, about the dream that morning. She said, “I think I would go see him really soon  if I were you. It sounds like a message from God. ” She is a wise woman and a wonderful friend. I had never had a dream like this before, so I did.

The next day I went. Mom was coming, but I got there earlier than she did because I had some important business to do. Dad looked awful. He was lying all twisted up with  his mouth opened wide. He was very thin, thinner than I ever saw him. He used to weigh up to 220 pounds, now he was 158. He was completely out. I could not wake him. He did not respond, nor did he acknowledge me. He did not know I was there.

I began to talk to this skinny, unrecognizable man who was my father. I told him I was sorry for anything I might have done to hurt him. I also told him I forgave him for everything. I then said, “I release you to God.” For years I prayed for my Dad to have a relationship with the Lord. I do not know if he ever got to that point. It was time to let him go. I have heard that we can keep people here on earth when it’s time for them to go, so I let him go. I sat there quietly and  a few tears leaked out. I did not know what else to do.

Shortly thereafter, my mom arrived. The nursing home administrator came in to talk with us. She said they would keep a close eye on him. She then asked us about hospice care. It was Tuesday, and we made the appointment for Thursday morning. The care would be that at K House, he would not have to be moved.

 Hospice, as defined in

A health-care facility for the terminally ill that emphasizes pain control and emotional support for the patient and family, typically refraining from taking extraordinary measures to prolong life.

The following evening I was falling asleep and I heard the phone ring. It was after 10 p.m. They said Dad had taken a turn for the worse, and asked if I and my mother wanted to come in. I called Mom and we decided we would be there in the morning, why go now? We figured that 8 hours would not  make that much difference.  At 12:30 a.m. K House called and said, “Your father is gone. He died peacefully in his sleep.” He was 85. It was 10/ 6/ 2011, about 7 weeks before he would be 86.

I thank  God I visited him that day.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Back to Counseling-the stress was too much for me to handle.

Email 9/9/11

Hi to my siblings,
For some reason TODAY I got hit with a wave of emotion and want to cry. What triggered it was going to the bank for mom.  The SAVINGS account that mom gets direct deposit for SS and pension does not have my name on it. The new account does. They cannot put me on the account. They have to open a NEW one and that means mom will have to change her deposit (rather I will) so they get their money. I was totally aggravated because they did not know how to fix it.

Wednesday MOM let me take over her bills. The bank (I will not mention their name) would not let me take out the money to pay them.

I was there 45 minutes and at then  I started to meltdown. We are ALL doing things we do not want to do-but when a roadblock happens it hits you.  I already had to argue with mom twice that morning about the account and she asked me to pay the nursing home bill 2 DAYS AGO and today she yelled "I Paid that bill already!" The other day I realized I know how people abuse the elderly. They are nasty, belligerent, LOUD and unappreciative.  I am not liking this at all. All I am trying to do is help a confused older woman who just happens to be my mother. We were at the bank for about an hour an a half. The whole time the banking people were looking at me like I was trying to take mom's money. 

She called me and asked me where Harry's short white robe is. I said, "Did you take it to the nursing home?" She can't remember. It's like talking to a child. How the heck do I know where it is?

Thanks for listening. I just needed to vent.

We need to safety pin a note to her to tell her what is happening.   As in, right now I am emailing Sandy. Now I am thinking of how to console Sandy.   Now, she is  putting her  toothpaste in the pantry. and later she will swear Danny moved it there!  You get the picture- WE CAN ONLY DO SO MUCH-You can vent to me any time...We appreciate the time and effort it takes to handle all these things, Sandy.  Hope your day gets better!   Bren

Back to Counseling

I went to counseling for different reasons in my life. Gratefully I found Dr. Becky, who helped me navigate through difficult times.  During this time I decided I needed some help coping with the changes in my parents. One day my dad began hitting me as I was visiting him. We were in a common area with a T.V. set. He thought he was at work, and he kept telling me to “punch his time card.” He pointed  to the television and I said, “Dad, I don’t know what you are talking about,” He was in a wheelchair and he began to hit me and told me I was stupid, etc. I even walked over to a nurse and asked her what he might be talking about. She made the “He’s crazy” gesture to me.  Dad kept cursing under his breath.  Just then my mom walked in and it was a though someone flipped a switch. His countenance changed and he was smiling.

I, on the other hand, was a mess. When I left I got in my car and screamed. I was shaking I was so mad. I was almost 60 years old and my father was HITTING me! I didn’t even want to go and see him, yet I did. It was a duty that I had to perform. This is such a terrible feeling to have, yet so many families experience it.

My therapist had been a life saver for me. Her help and advice in so many scenarios had been invaluable. Since I had a long term relationship with her, it was easy to go back for what I called a  “tune up.”

Her best advice to me about my father was to “minimize survivor guilt.” What that meant to me was: do whatever I could  do to be free of guilt when he died. She told me to visit when I thought I could. She suggested I never be alone with him. (I had many issues with my dad, this is not the place to talk about them.)  So I made sure I was there for holidays, birthdays, about every week to 10 days when I knew a sibling or my mother was there. I made sure I was never alone with him. It worked like a charm!

My visits were short and sweet, so I fulfilled my duties as a daughter. I barely talked to him, but that was fine with me. No one could ever say I didn’t visit him. He didn't notice that I was not there much. Dad's mind was going. I was so glad I talked to Becky because it made a huge difference in the coming month.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Alzheimers and Pizza

I have heard that if a person has a certain character trait, it is amplified when they get old. I personally believe that is true. Dad was in FW for a few more months. We thought it might be a good idea to find housing that catered to Dementia and Alzheimer’s patients. 

Most nursing homes I have visited have a “poop” smell. I know that sounds bad, but it is true. We visited a privately owned facility that catered to Alzheimers. It smelled pretty good, and they had systems to get the residents out of their rooms as much as possible. They also had them on a bathroom schedule, for less accidents.  I’m going to call this place “K House.”

The staff there was great. They treated him well and I was amazed that he would smile at the women who took care of him. We all struggled with our visits, because he would barely talk. One thing he kept saying to mom, “Let’s blow this pop stand, Dot!” Or, “Let’s get the hell out of this place, Dorothy!”  Mom emphatically insisted that she would take him home, but only when he was strong enough and able to toilet himself. 

Because Dad insisted he wanted to come home, mom had an idea. One day, she had us all come over her home and told us Dad was visiting. Dan brought Dad home and we were going to eat  mom’s home made pizza as a family. Mom made great pizza.

Dad was completely overwhelmed. He used to sit at the front window and look outside. We sat him there and he yelled at us, telling us we were moving too fast, talking too fast and he could not relax.  He couldn’t even eat the pizza. He was upset and he realized he didn’t belong there anymore. All he ever wanted to do was be at his “home,” and he was unable to enjoy even a minute of being there. 

Alzheimer’s patients do not do well with change or unfamiliar surroundings, and even though it was familiar before, it was a strange place. Even though Harry had said, “They’ll have to take me out of here in a box,” his body betrayed him. He no longer had the strength nor the ability to live in his beloved home with the 2 acres until he died. It was very sad. 

Dad was in a wheelchair now, so my brother had to carry him in and out. I felt bad for Dan. He struggled so much with this whole scenario, and he was the youngest and the only boy.  Talking to dad was almost impossible because, even with the hearing aids, he did not hear well. The hearing aid technician told me he had almost total hearing loss.  His eyesight was poor as well.

Dan would go to McDonald’s before he visited dad and buy french fries. Dad’s eyes lit up when he smelled them. Dan fed them to him one at a time. Dad seemed to enjoy that quite a bit. It also made Dan feel like he could do something for his father. I could tell this really hit my brother very hard, even though he struggled (as we all did) with the relationship with Dad. We all felt so helpless and unequipped to handle what was happening.

Email 6/24/11 from Dan

mom said dad fell out of bed last night, the aids said dad said he was ok......the remedy is to get a real hospital bed...obviously the costs doesn’t matter on this one.
 previously mom has told me that a woman living in a room adjacent to dad was a "spy" and would dothe hiring and the firing in the facility
Also, sandy reported that mom saw all the checks ripped out of the check book and dan must have stolen all her money.
 while i have been listening to sandy weekly about these kind of things i don't want to continue to be in denial
 I don’t want to wait for mom to get in another accident (the recent fender bender mom said she didn’t realize it had happened ..the guy saw she was old...she told her about dad and the guy drove off) 
 So the financial challenge is that as long as dad is alive if mom sells the house that money could drain...
bad time to quit drinking  :o Dan

Email 6/28/11 from Dan
..Connie and I went to see him Sunday and took furniture and hung family pictures....He can't see them but people who come to see him in that depressing room will be distracted and maybe he will feed off that energy. Before we hung them I helped dad to the bathroom and took his pants down and held him while he went…he’s not as strong as mom suggests...then after we hung pictures dad saw us and was terribly excited..he couldn’t form words (he feels alone and as if he’s in prison) we took him to the kitchen and he sobbed uncontrollably....yet as we opened the donut box he was like a kid in the candy store. (he ate several)...the thing that sucks is that he won’t get physical therapy there...(they say they walk him but I have never seen it) the aid says they don’t do physical therapy. yet if he did it would be like watching a 3 year old  old. you'd have to watch 24/7. And when he was at home he would just shut down in his shell and would interact as much as he is at K House.....Mom will have to go next…she's up and down ...Sunday she seemed good.
While this is bad the thing that is good is that I seem to be living better. Taking time to look at things the way they are. I saw some of the guys I worked with 35 years ago and they all looked 80 years old. I still feel 28.
So hug the people that matter to you and promise yourself that you will do just one thing today that makes you feel great.
Then do that every day   Dan

Email 8/23/11

 Hey it's been a while... Just thought I'd share a few things with you all. First of all, Dad was sick last week and one day they had a guy come in and play old songs like  "Daisy, Daisy" and old show tunes.  He got them to sing along and I did, too.  I looked over at Dad, and I could see him lipping the words.  My heart broke, it was sweet and pitiful, but I think he was enjoying himself for a bit.  I also brought my laptop to show Dad some old pictures on another day, but he got agitated and said "Remember,  remember,  remember!  Why are you tormenting me?"   I think he was just not feeling well, but I left after only about 20 minutes and was in tears.  we all need to try and see him  a little more often.  Even when I left (he was coughing all over , runny nose, etc.),  he looked at me like "Leaving so soon?" 
 Sigh...On another note- Mom called on Friday and had a Dr appointment.  I went, she had blood tests, and I had Dr T test her memory.  He gave her 30 questions and she passed with flying colors.  However, I told him that she accuses us of going in her house and taking things-her ice cream bars, her underwear, and moving the bar in her patio doors.  He told mom he is CERTAIN THAT WE ARE NOT TAKING HER UNDERWEAR, and while she passed the test, that it is not uncommon for 80 somethings to have periods of paranoia.  so he won't test her again for another year.   
That's all I can say about that.............Have a great day!  Love  Bren  

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The V.A. lost the application for benefits, and the guy quit who was "helping" us. What now?

We were trying to get some benefits for my dad since he qualified for them, having served in the Navy during WWII.  But.... the V.A. LOST my dad's application. Unfortunately we got a guy that quit in the middle of our whole process.  My brother was frustrated beyond belief. These emails took place over a 6 month period or so.

Dear MR (INCOMPETENT)attached is HARRY GERGEL ORIGINAL APPLICATION Please  make sure the original date is honored. Since the application Harry has been in Southwest Hospital, the Cleveland Clinic, and now FXXXX WXXXX long term care facility in SXXXXXXXX,  OH. He will not return home. My mother will have to sell her home. Please help.
If anything is needed feel free to call xxx xxx xxxx anytime or email me back at this address.
Dan Gergel

this is email THREE of three
please email me that you rec'd these items and will proceed with the claim. PLEASE
Dan Gergel


Hi  Just thought I'd let you know we're going  on vacation from Friday May  6th  to the 18th.  Pete will have his cell xxx xxxxx, but I am not taking mine.  We'll be at the Palms of xxxx the whole time.  Dad seems to be ok except for being a little drowsier than normal.. I mentioned to the nurse that if this continues, they should consider giving the (DRUG NAME) at night.  They will need to run it by the Dr, but  it will depend on if he is being civil during the day w/o it.  ALSO, someone needs to help mom to call the insurance co about wind damage to her roof.  I was there on Wed and didn't really notice anything, but she said there was a bunch of shingles in her lawn.  (maybe not even hers????)    It might be from the back, I didn't look there.   Love you all    Brenda

from Dan:
 From: sandy
To: dan
Subject: RE: harry_gerg el_VA_appl ication
Date: Mon, 16 May 2011 12:28:03 -0700
Great job. Thanks for letting me know.

The nursing home is going to recommend dad not come home. I just spoke to them to confirm our appt. tomorrow and she said he could be there for the meeting and I said I don't think that would be a good idea. He is not going to be happy about not going home.

There were so many things to handle that we were not used to doing. My mother was not herself. She kept waiting for my brother to step in and do everything my dad usually did. That was an unrealistic expectation, especially at this stage.

Later on I have a much better VA story to tell, but it would be out of sequence right now.

Saturday, June 11, 2016


So far I have written this blog in chronological  order so the reader can follow the chain of events that we've become so well versed in with our family issues.  I have most of a book written that has additional information that can help people experiencing problems like ours with our aging parents. I have many stories and LOTS of helpful information to navigate senior housing and benefits, all in the hope that the public be better informed.

I NEED YOUR HELP!  I want to write what people need and also I hope to make you laugh. I have had several people tell me they are enjoying this blog, but I am not getting any feedback on GOOGLE. Please take a minute or two to let me know your thoughts.

Is this helping you?

Are you entertained by the stories?

Would you like more helpful facts? (About nursing homes, what to do before a tragedy happens etc.)

What part of the blog did you enjoy best?

I can see I got the most clicks with the PSYCHIATRIC WARD story about my dad. I was surprised.
I have some even better stories. :-)

Thank you in advance and please enter some feedback!


Sunday, June 5, 2016


THE FOLLOWING ARE EMAILS BETWEEN US DURING 2011. Ted was in the home helping my parents in the fall of 2010. Cynthia lives in Florida, so I am starting with her email in January. This shows how helpless we all felt because mom and dad were still "in charge."

1/11/11  Subject: Re: Mom and Dad (January)
From: "cynthia 
Date: 1/10/11 12:27 pm
To: sandy

I am here at school checking my emails.  I will call mom and attempt to explain why we are having Ted be there.  She has to understand that things are not going to get better---they are going to get worse.  I don't mean to be a pessimist, but it is truth.  If I had the damn money, I would give mom money to put in her checking account so Ted could be paid, so they could be eligible.  Mom would then probably say that I am trying to take her money.  I'll call mom and try to make her understand that things WILL change with dad....only for the worse, and then she'll REALLy have to pay.  Gotta go.  Love, cyn
----- Original Message -----

From: Sandy
To: Dan, Cindy, Brenda
Sent: Monday, January 10, 2011 11:01:43 AM
Subject: Mom and Dad
Hi Everyone,
Dan called me today and said mom did not want Ted anymore. The whole point of this was tying to generate an extra $300 a month for mom and dad through the VA benefits which they seem to qualify for with flying colors. In the meantime they got some needed work done in the house. I appreciate the help Ted gave them. She is afraid she will run out of money and thinks we are spending it.

Mom cannot remember from 1 conversation to another WHY we are doing this. She is paranoid and thinks we are trying to use her money. 
She wants her checkbook back and says she will get the E-check and her new plates. She said she doesn't need any help with Harry and he CAN be left alone. I totally disagreed with her on all counts and said that the money in the estate is our inheritance if it is not spent-why would we try to spend it????

Clearly she is not thinking straight. Dan is in a lot of pain and he has had it with her. I talked with her for 20 minutes and she abruptly ended the conversation. She is a rock head. She does not even trust her own kids who are trying to help her. She doesn't get it. Maybe we should leave them alone for awhile and let them see that we are HELPING.  I am also frustrated beyond belief. I should have let her get a ticket for driving on an expired license! I really don't think they appreciate anything we have done. I personally battle every day with my attitude and ask God to help me. These are the people that acted like I didn't exist for 7 years in the 90's.  I find it especially frustrating.


Subject: RE: Mom and Dad
From: "Dan 
Date: 1/10/11 11:08 am
To: sandy
we are all genetically predisposed to the insanity
..I was planning to spend all of their money on my future pyschiatric care.....
If I end up like this KILL ME.


Apparently Dad went into the hospital (see visit with Chet) and then back into a nursing home when this was sent.  Dan always makes me laugh.

From: sandy
To: Dan 
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 9:16:15 AM
Subject: Like living in an Alfred Hitchcock movie

This is an update for you two.
Hi Dan and Cindy,

The nursing home took dad off the anti psychotic and he turned into the devil on Sunday night. They got to see what he is capable of.

He called everyone fat ass, the N word, sob, MFer-You get the picture- Our childhood in a mini series on steroids AT THE TOP OF HIS LUNGS FOR 30 MINUTES. He was terrorizing everyone at the front door coming in and out. He scared all the residents, Then they called poor Brenda. She was sick  and went there at 7:30 at night. He promptly cussed her out and spit in her face a big hocker. I would have been on the 11 o'clock news if he did that to me. I am barely holding it together with him. He finally calmed down. Luckily  he can't remember how to unlock the wheelchair, so he can't move.

He was nice to me earlier Sunday for the first time in months, but I fed him his
entire lunch, combed his hair and made sure they gave him medicine.
Mom's car would not start so Wally and I got her car started in the Marc's parking lot. She took it into the dealership  yesterday and they gave her what she needed. The battery light had been on for 6 weeks and she never took it in. Mom says dad was "AS NICE AS PIE" yesterday and he is getting stronger. She laughed about the old ladies being  afraid.   

He asked  her to take him home. She explained he has to be able to walk because she is unable to care for him at her age. I am ticked that these institutions continue to take him off the medicine.

From: Cindy
To: Dan 
Sent: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 11:30 AM
Subject: Like living in an Alfred Hitchcock movie


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?.... and some colorful word choices

Mom got a urinary tract infection and some other serious illness at the same time. There was NO Way she was going to be able to stay home with Harry. She was gone for 10 days, then she needed rehab. She lost 20 pounds total during this time. She was really weak.

 Dad was home alone, so we tried to figure out what to do with him. We hired a few different people then. He needed company, but he also had to have someone watch him, so he didn’t set the house on fire. We kids and my husband took turns staying overnight at his house. It was strange, because he would wander around in the middle of the night and he wasn’t recognizing us. “Why are you here?” he would say. He was really confused.

At the end of mom’s 10 days, she went to a nursing facility. We put him in the room with her for that 30 day period because it was an answer to our 24/7 dilemma of who was going to stay with Harry. This also gave them both a companion. But dad thought mom was there to serve him, he was so used to her caring for him. She was so glad when it was time to go home!

He went home, too, but only for a short time. By the time of his next hospital stay, it was evident he needed assistance all the time. He could not lift himself onto or off of a toilet. That was the deal breaker for mom. She did not want to take over diaper duty.

Unfortunately, whenever my dad was in the hospital more than a week, we found out they stopped giving him some of his regular medicines. Dad was on an antidepressant and antipsychotic, just to name a few. WHY on earth would they discontinue those two? But at this time I was unaware. I was very worried about him and afraid he would not live long. I talked to my pastor and he said he would go to the hospital with me and visit my dad.

My father did not go to church and I wanted to make sure he was at peace with God. Chet (the pastor) and I traveled to the Cleveland Clinic and went up to see him. Our intent was to pray with him, and minister to him in any way we could. I think I said Dad was about as deaf as a stone without the hearing aids. Apparently someone had misplaced them and he was in a world of his own. So, we arrived at his room and realized we are going to have to SHOUT anything we say. Dad had grown a good sized white beard and he looked pretty mean. 

Chet and I sat down on either side of him and Chet decided to ask him if he knew Jesus. He had to yell it. 

My father glared at him and shouted “ARE YOU F*****G  KIDDING ME?”

Chet sat up straighter and looked like he had been slapped. My dad said it again.  

So we both stood up and were talking about 5 feet from Dad’s bed. We were praying for him, but not necessarily loud because he did not need to hear us. Dad had his eyes closed, half nodding off.  Then he opened his eyes.

“WHAT ARE YOU F*****G  STUPID PEOPLE DOING HERE?” I am not sure if he recognized me or not.

Poor Chet looked like he had never heard someone he was praying for say such things. (I am sure that isn’t language pastors hear very often.) As loud as I could, I yelled back, "We"re PRAYING for you, Dad!"  He just shook his head.

On our way through the hall, going to the car, Chet broke the silence. “Sandy.... I now have quite a different picture of what your childhood was like.” (That’s an understatement.)

I also asked the hospital if they took him off of any of the medications he usually took, because he behaved in a  more nasty manner  than he had been. Of course they did! So we made sure they continued to prescribe the medicine that he needed while he was there.

Dad was always clean shaven. This is a picture of what he looked like at this time, in the hospital with no hearing aids.