I've been remiss with prompt posts of late..
Look who turned 10 months..and is trying to walk!
Recently, my sis Di and I had to make an impromptu whirlwind trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma to attend the funeral of our Dad's youngest sibling.
Uncle Pete was the last survivor of five siblings. He like the others, had Dementia and early Alzheimer's.. His daughter Debbie had lovingly cared for both her parents until her mom passed away about five years ago. Then it was just her and her dad but cousin Raylene who lives just minutes away, had taken Debbie under wing, providing her with breaks and whatever she needed for Uncle Pete.
Three weeks ago, hospice was called in..providing comfort for both Uncle Pete as well as for Debbie.
The funeral was a simple affair..but was done in the manner which Uncle Pete would have heartily approved..it was held on a brisk fall day.
Despite the sad reason , we girl cousins were elated to all be together.. a first in twenty years..
We each represent one of the five siblings who had children..our brothers could not make the trip..
Johnnie, retired Air Force, has been a home builder for the past 20 years..
He is having his best year since 2008..with a total of 5 homes nearing completion..and could not be away.
Jim..our other brother, a Viet Nam Vet lives in an "assisted living" facility over an hour away..
He has required our assistance for travel to and from medical appointments with the VA here in Pensacola.
Until I returned here back in August, my sister Di was doing this for him, even tho it meant
her taking off work to do so. To see him in such a manner upsets me greatly.
He was virtually homeless, was picked up by the police, "Baker Acted" and admitted to psychiatric hospital facility..that was over two years ago! Since then, he has been in two different places..both of which are appalling! At least by my standards..but his basic needs are being met..three hot meals a day,a private room,with private bathroom facilities, and a roof over his head. His meds are being dispensed per doctors orders..
When he lost his home and car,all of his belongings were put into a storage facility, and when the rent was not paid, his possessions were sold. So imagine yourself, in a hospital, with no identification,no home, no one even knowing that you are missing! This was his case...until his sons went looking for their father..and found him.
The road to recovery is long and hard..but establishing one's identity is even harder these days.
My sister had to do just that for him. First was providing proof of residency in order to obtain a social security card. A letter from the assisted living facility provided those dates so the card was procured.Next, a birth certificate was obtained from the health department. These two items were proof enough to obtain a state ID card with a photo! Once these documents were in hand, off to the bank we went to set up a bank account for his VA Disability checks to be direct deposited.
This was necessary in order to have the funds reinstated.
We are now in the process of getting those funds reinstated..another lengthy and tedious process.
In the meantime,we are trying to get copies of his military records to prove his disability is from Viet Nam..A once strapping 165 lb man is now reduced to a frail 124 lbs..with possible dementia..just barely over 60 years old..But he is our Brother..and we do what we can for each other.
This Thanksgiving, will be the first time in about 15 years that all four of us siblings will be seated at the same table giving thanks! For that we are truly Thankful!
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