Thank you all for your generous donations and shares of my dad’s story. Daddy passed at 11:11am on Wednesday, September 26. He went very peacefully. Linda and I were with him.
Ive had people still asking to make donations, even though daddy has passed. I will keep this up for another week or so. Please not that those donations would go towards his bills and final expenses.
If you feel inclined, please go ahead and read the story...it was a great idea and would have happened...if only there was more time....
That guy in the middle of the picture...that's my dad on his 80th birthday. He was in the hospital after just having his second leg amputation. Just a year after having his first leg amputated! The cutie on the right is my son...my dad’s only grandchild and the true apple of my dad’s eye (and probably the only reason my dad is smiling in this picture!) That’s me on the left.
My dad started in home hospice care a few weeks ago. So, instead of being in a hospital, in a hospital bed, he is at home, in a hospital bed. I got the call from my sister about hospice while I was in a kayak, in Maine. My kiddo had already paddled out into the ocean ahead of me when my phone rang. I hung up the phone and silently cried as I paddled out to catch up to him. My dad is in full renal failure. He’s going to die soon.
Surprisingly, hospice really hasn’t been that much different for my dad than the last 6 years or so of his life. He hasn’t wanted to do anything at all. No trips. No holidays, celebrations or milestones with the family. Nothing. Just stay in bed and sleep. We only got to see him when he has been in the hospital. He just didn’t want visitors. Only difference now is that we are allowed to come see him at home. For 6 years, he’s been trapped at home, dreaming and wishing about the things he could no longer do. And going to millions of doctor appointments. Dialysis, chemotherapy, and the surgeon for wound care follow ups! The multiple myeloma was bad enough...especially since it’s the same cancer that took my mom 20 years ago, but the complications from diabetes are what really impacted my dad’s life. It started with a toe amputation 12 years ago. Since then, more and more of his body got taken from him. Now, he’s a double amputee. My dad said “the golden years suck”...yeah...they really have been awful for my dad. Forced retirement, losing 3/4 of his 401k when the stock market crashed and being buried in medical bills. So unfair for a veteran, a hardworking man...anyone ,really.
2 days ago, we were talking about many of the family trips we had taken to Maine. His eyes lit up the way they do when talking about his grandson!!! I’m glad that twinkle is still there...I haven’t seen it in a long time! Maine and my kiddo are his 2 favorite things in this world!!!! I jokingly told him I would throw him in my car...and take him there! I even grabbed my keys! And I absolutely would if I could!! He laughed and closed his eyes. Reality is, he’s far too sick to travel by car. The renal failure is causing fluid build up. He’s so full of fluid, he can’t sit up. He is completely bedridden. Has been for months. Laying in bed and waiting to die. I asked him where he would want to go if he could pick one final trip...he closed his eyes, smiled and said, “Acadia, I want to see Acadia again!”
When I left him that night, I started a plan to get him up there!!!! I have done quite a bit of research while I lay awake at night and worry...and I have a solid plan worked out! I researched agencies that help veterans (he joined the air force when he was 18 and served his country) and others that help seniors have one final experience before their life comes to an close. They take too long. I have 2 things going against fulfilling this dream...money (that we don’t have) and time (that my dad doesn’t have).
We would need to travel by rv. Not just any rv, a fully handicap and wheelchair accessible rv. I’m talking wide doors...motorized wheelchair lift...very hard to find and very expensive options. I’ve spent hours and hours and hours scrolling through rv rentals trying to find one. I’ve found a few. They are incredibly expensive and charge a crazy per mile rate (some nearly $1 a mile, on top of the rental). And they area no where near home. I will keep looking! I will find it! I just need to look harder.
In addition to the rv, we would need a specialized wheelchair that allows him to recline, as he cannot sit fully upright. We would also need a gurney, in case he can’t sit up enough to use the reclining wheelchair. Maine isn’t a place you can just look at though a window. You need to get out there, soak it up, breathe it in. Feel it. It brings you peace. My dad needs this peace. He deserves it.
I told my dad my plan...and for the first time in 6 years...HE ACTUALLY WANTS TO DO SOMETHING!!!
If you knew my dad before all of this, you knew the absolute sweetest man on earth!!! Sweet, kind, compassionate, loyal, hardworking and so much more! His laugh was infectious. His voice carried over absolutely everyone...and people would listen! He loves nature and birding. He loves his family, but most of all, he loves his grandson with all his heart.
My kiddo is 9...for 6 years...my dad hasn’t wanted to do much...my son has only seen his grandfather when he’s been in the hospital...those are the memories my little guy has of this amazing, strong man. So, I guess his trip would be for my kiddo too! Create memories that he’s been robbed of.
￼￼We aren’t looking for a luxury trip on someone else’s dime. We are trying to give my father his dying wish. A wish we cannot afford, but desperately want to make come true for this wonderful man. As much as I struggle with asking for help...I cannot make this happen without a ton of help!!!! (Those who know me, know how hard this is for me).
Any funds not used for the trip, could either be refunded, or put towards the 100’s of thousands of dollars in medical bills he has accrued. Those bills haunt him. He knows he will never be able to repay them. And he respects the work the doctors have done to give him as long as he has had. He is at peace with being on hospice and his death, he is ready to be back with my mom...but these medical bills still keep him up at night. They keep him from resting peacefully.
Thank you for reading this long post. If you can help financially, it would be greatly appreciated...more appreciated than I can ever express. If you don’t have the funds, please just help by sharing this page! I need this to reach as many as people as possible so we can make this happen.
Thank you for your time!
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