My Father’s Story Part 5

Before continuing with the retelling of my father’s story, here’s a heads up that Lord willing, tomorrow I intend to post the song I mention about half way through this post (called Holy One of Israel). I will try to link directly to the video from this post so that you can watch it. Listening to the song put my father in a very receptive place, as you will see below.

My Father's Story--Part 5

(Originally posted in June, 2023)

A Friendly Roommate

His roommate was kind, and sort of watched out for my Dad in the first days when I wouldn’t be there yet in the morning, he’d do his best to call over to my Dad if he was sounding confused. They were both bed bound and getting some rehab. His roommate had fallen, and was recovering. His PT was much more advanced than my Dad’s, because my Dad could barely even stand up or transfer with two people helping him. Most of the staff that had seen Dad before were surprised how much he had regressed from the previous weeks before his re-admission to the hospital.

His roommate told me some of his own story, how he had been admitted to the hospital after his fall, and they had had a Covid outbreak there that was so bad that he and a few others (who tested negative) were kept in a totally different sort of makeshift section of the place. He was glad to be in rehab. He had several visitors who were friends, encouraging/assisting him and trying to help him figure out how to manage living alone once he recovered.

Trying to Recover

This man was getting up out of bed to walk with a walker with PT, and I think at one point, my Dad got a little jealous and wanted to get out of bed too… I think that might have been the day we actually got him out of bed to a wheelchair and I wheeled him down the hall to a little secluded spot. It was really hard for the assistants to get him up on his feet, and he seemed flummoxed as to why it was so hard for him to get his strength back. Frankly, I felt the same. He was a very strong, small but muscular kind of man, who took much time and effort keeping himself in shape for his whole life. In fact, even as his weakness progressed, the PT (who was far larger than my Dad) could barely pull him up to standing from his bed, because my Dad’s muscles were almost pulling against the PT’s efforts.

I had originally thought I’d probably stay up at his place for about a week, then later my sister and her hubby could come up to tag team (as we had done after his original GBS hospitalization). I had run out of food and clean clothes, and was ready to head back home. One day, my car was all packed up and ready for me to leave after seeing him that day, knowing my sis would be coming up in a few days to take over helping get him recovered and back home. I told him goodbye, and he gave me a very warm, intentional handshake, quite formal, saying he’d enjoyed working with me (almost like I was one of the professionals working with him there. He knew I was a Music Therapist, and I could sense his appreciation for all the time we’d had together).

But, after talking with my hubby, texting my family and praying, I just couldn’t leave. He wasn’t looking like things were going to turn around again…. So, I went to the grocery store, bought myself some frozen dinners and figured out which of my clothes would work for me to wear a second time….

Sadly, over those days, I watched him just go downhill rapidly. His appetite was almost non-existent, his confusion was noticeable, and although he wanted to get up and move his body as usual, it just was not responding to his efforts.

Holy One of Israel

A really sweet moment in the midst of these days was one afternoon when my Dad had a bit of energy and asked what we could do. He agreed to have me play him a couple of videos on my laptop. Back in November, I had sung/played a solo concert at a Christian Coffeehouse, which was recorded. There was one of my songs, “Holy One of Israel” which really was a blessing that night, and came out pretty well on the raw video footage (haven’t had time to actually put that one out YET on YouTube, but I had it there on my laptop, PTL). So I played it for him as he and his roommate listened quietly.

The song is like a musical prayer, and at the end, he and his roommate were almost lulled to sleep or prayer, or something that felt sweet in the Spirit. I asked my Dad if he wanted to hear another, and he said something like “No, I want to absorb what I just HEARD….” That song is about desiring to draw closer to Yeshua HaMashiach (Jesus the Messiah). I don’t know if he knew what the words meant, but I trust the Holy One was beckoning to his heart that day….

Manna From My Father's Hand

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(Here is the link to the video I mentioned above)

One evening, as I was about to leave for the night, and my Dad had fallen asleep, his roommate called me over and said such kind words about having watched me love my Dad and put up with some of the more demanding things, etc. It was a very sweet gesture, and I still pray for this man….

Enter The “Vid”

Within that time period, I had noticed that there were signs posted by the front door of the rehab that there were some cases of Covid in the facility (so I realized that it was going around in his state during that “cold and flu season” just as it was in ours). Every day they tested my Dad (negative). There were apparently several people with Covid right around his room on that wing. One day, his roommate tested positive. That was so sad, because then all his therapy visits went down to nothing. He seemed quite tired and of course was coughing. He was mystified as to how he could have caught it, when he had had all FIVE of his shots(!)

I didn’t say anything to him about that, but prayed, of course. Covid ran through that place so quickly it was amazing. Someone said that one of the staff had tested positive over the weekend, but had worked anyway. They were so short staffed, and some of the stories from the young folks working there were memorable, especially the young people talking about having problems with their KIDNEYS of all things….

Funny, how a place that dealt with so many people, both patients and staff who had all their “shots” up to date could have something spread like wildfire in that way. Weren’t these shots supposed to STOP that?

Thankfully, Dad kept coming up negative, even though he was obviously exposed. His recent shot sure protected him from getting Covid. Very “effective” I guess…. The look of fear and dismay on his face when he happened to hear that his roommate had the virus was a sad moment. He had been so confused, he hadn’t even realized, until some staff member mentioned something….

So I felt bad for his roommate. And my Dad’s situation was progressing downhill…. It became pretty clear that he wasn’t going to make it through this. I could barely believe it when one of the medical leadership staff asked if we were considering hospice! They were going to let him just die….

That was probably the hardest moment for me, grappling with the fact that they weren’t even going to keep trying to help him recover….

To be continued….

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