A Papa Update

We had a really great day on Tuesday!  Papa was alert and happy, he ate his dinner out at the table with us, all without a gag, or a hiccup to be heard.  It seemed he was beating death for the time being, our thoughts turned from weeks to maybe months with him on Earth?
But at 8 Tuesday night, Papa lost movement in his left side. And instead of passing after a few minutes, it stayed paralyzed.  The next morning, it had not returned fully, which means Dale was lifting him into the wheelchair and lifting him in the bathroom.

Poor guy fell during the night and banged up his knees because he didn’t want to be a bother and yell for us.  We knew Wednesday, that we had some big decisions to make.  Early on in his time in our home, we had established a “line in the sand” and after several messes, lots of vomit and a Papa no longer able to make it to the bathroom because he couldn’t walk, we knew we had reached that line.

It’s so strange, we knew it was coming, but it still took the rug out from under us and we spent the majority of the day, talking with Papa, praying over him, loving on him and crying with him.  He knew what the move to Hospice meant, he knew his body was showing all the signs of being done.

Dale and Don

  Hospice is amazing, I can’t say that enough, Miss Janet, our nurse, Miss Marsha, our social worker and Miss Jennifer our Home Health Care nurse, were here in no time flat, all working like a well-oiled machine to clean up Papa, assess the situation, and make the necessary arrangements for his transfer.

We had some special folks stop by, right before me moved him.

Papa’s adopted parents and his pastor:


I loved hearing them pray with him, read him the Psalms, and his parents sang and played harmonica.  They are 93 and just completely adorable together!

It was a precious last “Papa Memory” in our home……

collage 1

   I don’t know what it is about Wednesdays, but Wednesday, February 26th, Papa moved in, and Wednesday, March 12th, Papa moved out and went to Hospice House.  Longest, hardest, best 2 weeks ever.

  The Father knew the number of Papa Don’s days on Earth before He even created him, He knows the exact moment He will call him home.  

  Hospice, who know the signs the body gives at the end, are guessing we are down to the “days to a week” stage of the game.  We plan go to Hospice House every day, do homework there, practice piano, play together, eat supper and stay until the kids bedtime.  We don’t want to waste a precious second.  Dale will stay until Papa is ready to sleep, and he will head back over in the morning, after dropping kids at school each day.

Alright, that was my big update, now back to the food I scheduled a month ago, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day….bless you all for your love and compassion for my family.



12 thoughts on “A Papa Update

  1. Oh Tonya, I just sent you a note right before this came online. I am still sending you my love. I am so glad that you all will be able to be with him in these last few days of his life. That is the best thing!!! I really wish that I could have been there with my great Aunt in Jan. in her last days. But, it was just not able to happen.
    Even tho it is so hard, it is such a comfort to know that he will be going home to be with the LORD!!! What a blessing that will be!
    Sending LOTS of prayers up for you and sending LOTS of {{hugs}} your way too! I only wish that I could be there to really give them to you!

  2. Oh Tonya, you and your family are in my prayers continually. This is so very, very difficult, but you know the victory is in Jesus and you and Dale need have no regrets. You have been wonderful children to Papa. Your children have seen such an example of the love of Jesus in action.

  3. Tonya, thank you for taking the time to keep us updated on sweet Papa Don’s journey as each day is so precious for all of you. We keep you all in our prayers for strength in the preparation of his homegoing, and the peace and comfort that comes from our faith in God’s grace and mercy. Hospice is a blessing. There comes a time when your hearts know it’s best for loved ones to have the dignity they deserve while receiving professional care. You and your family are walking Papa home and the Lord will meet you there. God bless you!

  4. So sorry you had to make this decision. We have been there. Praying that these last few days together, memories can be made. Hugs

  5. Your post this morning has me crying as my heart aches for your family and dear Pappa. It’s funny how we hurt so badly when a loved one is passing/has passed away yet we know they are going to be with the Almighty Father in Heaven, which I can’t even imagine how wonderful that will be. Thank you so much for your blog, for sharing your life. You have no idea how you have helped me, my husband was having an affair when Dale was, that is when I found you and you have been such a blessing. I will surely be praying for you, your family and Pappa.

  6. What a beautiful memory God blessed you with. Will be praying for you and your family. May God fill your hearts with peace during this time.

  7. My heart goes out to you as we’ve walked this journey. In the end you will have no regrets for doing everything you did. May God bless you at this difficult time!

    Cindy Sent from my iPad


  8. Beautiful post that blessed my heart. The photos are priceless for sure. You certainly will have no regrets. I love that your children have played such a great role in Papa Don’s last days in your home. You are a true inspiration and we know God’s in control of this journey. Sending love & prayers XO

  9. Pingback: There Is A Hospital Bed In My Living Room… | 4 little Fergusons

I adore hearing from you, comment away! :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s