A Moment of Your Time

Filed in Delaware by on January 6, 2017

Since I went underground before Thanksgiving, I wasn’t even going to write this post, but three very close friends said I should.

Last November my Dad became extremely ill. His kidney’s failed and he was diagnosed with mid-stage Congestive Heart Failure. He began dialysis immediately and was in the hospital for over a month, followed by a long stay in a nursing home for rehabilitation. My mother’s life became filled with twice daily trips to the hospital (a forty minute drive each way) while I drove back and forth to the beach to help where I could.

Upon leaving the hospital last January, my Mom became his constant caregiver. He was down to 124 lbs and everything became a struggle. The writing was on the wall and I was at my rope’s end trying to keep everything together. I knew my Dad’s life was ending and I worried my Mom’s health was at risk given everything she was taking on. Basically, I was a mess.

He worked hard and improved a bit by this past summer. He hit 135 lbs and was able to walk and do other small tasks. But he slept a lot and frequently ended up in the emergency room followed by a hospital stay. This was the path we were on for the last year.

On Thanksgiving my Dad said to me, “I’m not going to make it.” I knew he spoke the truth. I was torn between being strong and dissolving into tears. I did both – at different times. I was strong for him. The tears came at night – when I was alone. My brain was racing, too. As typical for their generation, my Dad handled all the finances, so I worried about how my Mom would cope.

Then, another worry emerged, one that had taken root a while ago and I could no longer ignore…

Time was running out, but how it would run out became my concern. He was at the point where my Mom wouldn’t be able to care for him on her own. Decisions needed to be made. Do you know what nursing homes cost? I do. I traveled this path with my father-in-law so I am well aware of how expensive they are and how an extended stay would eat up my parent’s assets and could very well leave my mother destitute. The most difficult thing for me was to acknowledge that the best case scenario would be a quick, not prolonged, death.

That realization made me feel awful. Who thinks like that?

I started looking for apartments in Wilmington. I figured if I could move them close to me (to a place with wheelchair access) then I could help my Mom take care of my Dad full time. I could also (hopefully) put off a nursing home by adding my support and hiring a part time nurse to do the things my Mom and I couldn’t. I looked into several places and was going to go to the beach on Monday, December 5th to visit and give my Mom a break.

I didn’t go to the beach. I ended up at Christiana Hospital. My Dad died at 12:40am on December 6th. My Mom and I held his hand as he passed. It was one of the saddest and most beautiful experiences of my life.

On his prayer card, instead of a scripture verse, we printed the words to Sinatra’s My Way. Those words summed him up perfectly, and I’ve thought about the last two verses of that song a lot over the last several weeks.

My Dad died one month ago today.

His death has led me to reevaluate my life. And I’m making changes.

I’m sharing my story because it will give insight into where I was and where I’m at. I always take the long way to get to the point. Which is…

It is time for me to leave DL.

This past year with my Dad’s failing health and his death has made me think long and hard about myself, and the truth is, I don’t like myself on DL anymore. I am not blaming anyone. It’s just time for me to have a fresh start.

For the last 6 weeks I haven’t blogged at all. I’ve been thinking and lurking. It was good to take a step back, and I regret that my decision comes so soon after this weeks drama. I assure you, my timing is my own. I love blogging. I don’t want to stop, but I don’t think DL is the place for me right now.

Delaware Liberal has been (and will continue to be) a political force. This blog is full of wonderful contributors and commenters and some of my best memories and interesting conversations have taken place on DL. It’s just time for me to go.

In the name of transparency… I do plan on writing for Blue Delaware. This is not a slight against anyone. I had been thinking of moving on, starting my own thing, etc. for a while. There was a time when there were many Delaware blogs and we bounced off each other. Those days, to me, were the best. They had energy, humor, and, yes, flame wars. We fed creatively off each other, and it was a good thing. I hope we can find that again.

I am so thankful for the opportunity to write for an amazing blog and meet an amazing group of people. There are so many people I want to give a shout out to, but I worry I’ll forget someone so I’m not naming names! I will personally thank Jason330 and LiberalGeek for asking me to join DL. It’s been an amazing ride. You guys are the best! It’s just time for me to try something new, to make a new start.

I wish everyone the best of luck, and promise to keep reading and commenting on DL. It truly is addictive!

About the Author ()

A stay-at-home mom with an obsession for National politics.

Comments (17)

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  1. liberalgeek says:

    Best of luck to you Pandora!

  2. mediawatch says:

    Best wishes. I’ve enjoyed your commentary over the years and have appreciated your efforts to steer clear of the flamethrowing (as much as possible within this heated environment).
    You’ve had a tough year and I sincerely hope that 2017 will be much better for you.
    Take care.

  3. RE Vanella says:

    I’m glad to hear from you again. Best wishes to you and your family in the New Year. I hope you find your new outlet satisfying and productive.

  4. I wish you all the best, you’re a truly wonderful person. Maybe you could host multi-blog parties in the future?

  5. Jason330 says:

    Pandora, thanks for the kind words and for everything. Good luck. I will always be a fan.

  6. Brian says:

    pandora, thank you for sharing your story and for everything you have contributed to not only the blogging realm but to life in general. Best of luck in everything you choose to take on.

  7. Disappointed says:

    Sorry about your Dad, Pandora. It hurts.

    Thanks for your contributions over the years here. Best wishes to you in the future, and I am sure that you will continue to contribute to the world in new ways that would make your Dad proud.

  8. I am so very sorry for your loss Pandora. My prayers are with you!

  9. ex-anonymous says:

    i’ve enjoyed debating with you now and then on this blog. you are smart and thoughtful. thanks for this post and all the others. best wishes.

  10. AQC says:

    I am so sorry for your loss Pandora 🙁

  11. Paula says:

    Pandora, I’ll miss your perspective here but will look for you elsewhere. My condolences on your dad’s death. It will take time to get back to some kind of normal, but trust it, everyone is different, ignore all the “shoulds” — even the ones in your own head (I’ve been there). I hope you have many more good years with your mom.

  12. pandora says:

    I want to thank everyone for the kind thoughts. It really was a life-changing experience for me. Keep in touch! Like I said, I plan to keep reading and commenting on DL.

  13. anonymous says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, p. It gets better, but you never really get over it.

  14. Unstable Isotope says:

    I’m sorry for your loss pandora. I have enjoyed reading you and look forward to your next chapter.

  15. RobberBarron says:

    Are you actually leaving DL or not. Your post does not make it clear. BTW. I am truly sorry for your loss. You think you are prepared for the loss of a loved one, but are not. I know how you feel. God bless your father and his family.

  16. capesdelaware says:

    Would last one out the door turn the light out ? Thank you.