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A Wellness Moment When Life Takes a Turn

With much flurry, I emailed my blog subscribers that the Spring Clean Your Body series would be extended through June….then I got the call that my mother had colon cancer.  After several nights of tossing and turning about the tossing and turning events of life, I headed to Sanford, North Carolina to the Parkview Retirement Community.  The day after arriving, I got mom out of the hospital (no easy task) and into a rehab hospital one hour away in Pittsboro (also no easy task).  After a Dairy Queen treat with my dad, we settled down for a few wellness moments of story telling.  With my handy Flip video camera I pressed the red record button and dad reminisced.

Even though he has dementia, he can recall old stories with a good deal of accuracy.  But at this stage in life, accuracy is less important.  In fact, if someone asks what he had for lunch and he doesn’t remember, he’ll make something up.  That’s pretty smart.  An accurate account of life is over rated when you have dementia or when you’re listening to a story you’ve never heard before. 

The next day I took him to the emergency room for congestive heart failure.  After a stay in ICU, he was released – so glad to go home—read the paper, take a nap, read Time magazine, take a nap, watch Larry King or CNN, take a nap, eat dinner, take a nap, and then go to bed.  It gets simple for old folks.  And complicated for their kids.

So here’s a peek into my dad’s life the day before hospitalization.  He tells stories about his 44 years of selling on the road. 

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  1. Sisnwy says:

    Dear Cheryl,
    Enjoyed hearing your interview with Dad. It reminded me of several conversations with my dad before he died. Sorry to hear about your mother.
    You and family are in thoughts and prayers.
    Love, Sidney

  2. What a precious gift in this interview with Dad!
    It is a treasure!

    Love his hearing his story of his life’s journey.

    Love and miracles to your family.
    Karmel

  3. Myrna Stephens says:

    You will be glad you did this. I had a video made of my mother’s life–my sister and I put it together for her 80th birthday. Then when she got dementia really bad, we could play it for her and talk about her life. We used old photographs, music, and interview questions.

  4. Sidney, Karmel, and Myrna – Thanks so much for your comments. You’re right that this gift will keep on giving.

    We all have stories about our mothers and fathers. And they have stories for us.

  5. cheryl says:

    Myrna – your video of your mother sounds really neat! I’m sure it helps her reconnect with those lost memories. Familiar things are so comforting.

  6. @LenaWest says:

    Cheryl, what a GREAT interview with Dad. Those memories took him back to his working days and he was sharp as a tack. Save this interview. This reminds me that I need to do some interviews with my parents.

    Thanks for the heart-string tug!

  7. cheryl says:

    Thanks Lena – I have 7 interviews all together to sprinkle into the posts. And yes I’ll definitely save them. I have a few with my mom too – one is a hoot.

    Delay is increasingly expensive – Thomas Leonard

    So true!

  8. Muriel says:

    Cheryl, i love the part about telling a set of jokes to men and another set of jokes to women. That got a loud laugh out of me in itself.
    Super duper dad, reminded me of my dad when he was alive.
    Thanks for sharing

  9. Cheryl Miller says:

    My dad is old fashioned so the two sets of jokes was standard. The nonstandard part is that he’d tell you the other set if you asked. I love that about him.

    Thanks for your kind words Muriel. Cheryl

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