Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Exactly one year ago, today, on Tuesday, February 27, 2001, at eight o'clock in the evening, I was in my Father's hospital room, waiting for the lady who would stay the night with him. A cardiologist from the group that was attending him came to check on him. The doctor listened to my Father's chest with his stethoscope and said that he was sounding good. The doctor said that he would probably send my Father home with the dose of medication that he was currently on. I certainly felt encouraged about my Father's condition. The next morning, between one-thirty and three o'clock, just two months before his ninetieth birthday, my Dad died in his sleep. I sure do miss him!
Twenty-two degrees! Brrrr! That's pretty cold for the Deep South, even in February.

Tuesday, February 26, 2002

I picked the daffodils this morning, before going to work, because the low temperature forecast for tonight is twenty-one degrees, and I think that would have been too low for the flowers to survive. This way, we'll be able to enjoy them for a few more days.

Monday, February 25, 2002

Lunch menu: Mandarin Chicken salad at Burger King, with crisp noodles, slivered almonds, and Oriental Sesame salad dressing. After lunch, I had a French vanilla cappuccino. I love that drink!
One of my fellow employees put me on to for downloading songs. I downloaded the application and, then, just to try it out, easily downloaded two songs. I don't know how, or if, manages to get around the problems that Napster has had with the recording industry.

Sunday, February 24, 2002

Here is a list of some of the programs that I have downloaded and installed in my quest to find just the right one to organize information on my home computer: KeyNote, TreePad, A1 Visual Contact, PhoneDeck, Diary Defender, InfoStore, Memoirs2000 Lite, MyInfo, NoteKeeper, and Bottin. There have been others, which I uninstalled after discovering that they were not freeware.

In other news, more and more of the King Alfred daffodil buds are turning into beautiful, yellow flowers! The weather here in the Deep South (U. S. A.) has been unusually warm for February; i.e., today, it was sixty-nine degrees Fahrenheit!

I am reading a book entitled The Diagnosis, by Alan Lightman, who, in addition to being a bestselling author, is a professor in the humanities and a lecturer in physics at M. I. T.

Thursday, February 21, 2002

King Alfred daffodils are big, sturdy flowers bearing the classic yellow petals and cup. There are some blooming now in our front yard. My Mother told me that my Father planted them. I asked her when, and she said that it must have been at least ten years ago. If that's the case, he would have been seventy-nine then. However, he could have planted them fifteen or twenty years ago. My Mom just isn't sure. She said that some years they didn't bloom at all. Today, I counted eleven blooms and buds. My Father would have been delighted!

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

Walking in the park today was nice. When I started, it was mild, and there was a gentle breeze. During the course of my one mile walk, it rained softly for a short time, and the wind picked up, blowing the leaves across the foot path. I saw one azalea bush in bloom and a solitary, little yellow flower by the path. There was also a ground cover with greenish-bronze leaves. Most of the trees were completely bare, but some were just beginning to show a hint of green. The high temperature here today was 72 degrees (F).

Friday, February 15, 2002

The other day, I had taken my Mom grocery shopping. As usual, we split up the grocery list, and each of us took a cart. It is faster that way. The grocery store was running a promotion. My purchase was more than fifteen dollars, so I got a free ten pound bag of chicken. Good. Then, when my Mom checked out, she, also, qualified for ten free pounds of chicken. Not good. There are just the two of us, and it would have taken us forever to eat twenty pounds of chicken, so we gave it to the lady in line behind my Mom. She said that she could use it. Good deed for the day: done.

Saturday, February 09, 2002

On Friday, February 9, 2001, my Father was in the hospital, having fallen and broken his left hip the evening of Wednesday, February 7, 2001. He underwent hip replacement surgery late that afternoon. Either during the operation, or while he was in recovery, he experienced what a cardiologist first called a "cardiac event." Later, the cardiologist said that the "event" had been a heart attack.

Thursday, February 07, 2002

Another significant date. It was on February 7, 2001 that my Dad fell and broke his left hip. He had been home from the nursing home for one year and five days. It was a year that had its challenges, but it was a very rewarding year, too. As I helped to care for him, my Dad and I became closer than we had ever been. Often, he would get up in the middle of the night and roam around the house. I would wake up, also, and he and I would have a hot drink and a couple of chocolate chip cookies (his favorite). Then he would happily go back to bed.

Tuesday, February 05, 2002

Woo Hoo! United Parcel Service delivered my new computer today! It is a Dell Dimension 4400 1.6 Ghz with a 19" monitor.

Saturday, February 02, 2002

February 2 is a particularly significant date to me because it was on February 2, 2000 that I brought my Dad home from the nursing home. After he had hip replacement surgery on his right hip, he stayed in a nursing home for three months, and he was extremely unhappy. He was eighty-eight and, since he was in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, most of the time he didn't know where he was or why he was there.

While he was in the nursing home, I would visit him three times a day, every day: in the morning before work, on my lunch hour, and after work. Even so, many days he would telephone me from the nurses' station, and tell me that he was somewhere on a street corner and that he needed a ride home. I would reassure him that I knew where he was and that I would see him soon. He always seemed so relieved to see me, as if the staff didn't understand that he needed to go home. I would stay with him as long as I could and, then, tuck him in for the night before I would leave.

Before my Dad could come home from the nursing home, my Mom had to hire someone to stay with them while I was at work. She put an ad in the local newspaper and interviewed several people. Before she hired one, I brought my Dad home for several weekend visits from the nursing home. Finally, the big day, February 2, 2000, came! He was so glad to be home. My parents were married in 1940 and, until he went to the nursing home, they had probably not been apart more than a handful of days.

It took us a while to work out a routine, because, even after the surgery and physical therapy, my Dad couldn't get around as well as he could before he broke his hip, but he was happy, because he was at home, and that made all the difference.

On Wednesday, February 7, 2001, my Dad fell again. This time his left hip broke. On Friday, February 9, he underwent hip replacement surgery for the second time, but things did not go as well as they did the first time. He experienced a heart attack on the operating table. He survived the heart attack, only to die in his sleep, on Wednesday, February 28, two months to the day before his ninetieth birthday.

The last time that I saw him alive, the night before he died, he asked me to tell my Mom, "Hello." He asked me to tell her, his sweetheart of sixty years, that he loved her. He was a remarkable man. I sure do miss him.