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Dad is a bright light in our lives. And if you got his humor, you were a recipient of his good energy, too. We've learned it is far easier to jump hurdles with a parent who is enjoying life, keeping a perspective and laughing along the journey. Dad enjoys life, every single day is worth living.
Most recently I asked my Dad: "Dad, do you have any advice for me today?" He said, "Go running into the good days." To Dad, all days, even the hard ones are good days, worth living.
The last ten years have been a challenge, but it has been a really tough year for Dad. He was harmed at many senior facilities. His story is a heartbreaking journey of trying to stay safe, trying to get good care, trying to get past all the facilities issues ~ all to get to the enjoyment of life. His humor touched everybody, even staff caregivers. And because he made those connections, his presence often awakened a need for facilities to review inadequate processes and poor oversight - sometimes not by choice. But whether the facility had the spirit of continuous improvement, wanting to do better, or not, Dad's presence, his journey improved life for other residents, and for the caregivers who wanted to know how to do their jobs the best way possible. Every facility he left was better for him having been there.
One day we sat in a doctor's office and a song came on the radio with the line: "What do I stand for? What do I stand for? What do I stand for? I don't know..." Dad said: "What do I stand for?" It was clear to me: "Love of family, his kids first and foremost. The importance of Church and church friends. Justice in Care for Seniors, and Pure, doesn't hold a single grudge. Dad really is Love." His life DOES matter, even in those times when he felt he had no purpose, no one asking him for help anymore. He likes knowing he matters. His life presence are full of purpose and will be to the end. His experience, presence and way of being in this dying process teaches us now.
But Dad's life isn't defined by the struggle... It's defined by his connections God's love and love of family, friends, pride to have worked with past co-workers at Metal Matic, like Annie, who replaced him, and kept in touch ever since. He is defined by his love of county. He is a proud WWII vet, and the VA has been with us on this journey.
Dad's top priorities in life are family and the Methodist Church, especially the church of his family/childhood, Hennepin Ave. United Methodist Church. Irv feels strength, love, purpose, and safety when people visit. So, we invite you to come be with us in these last hospice days. He just wants a hand to hold, someone to sit with him, loving words of memories and connections.
We wish we could have kept my Dad home all these years. God knows we tried. And God knows, he kept asking. He would even ask me: "Please, just sing songs about going home."
So on Monday, Dec. 19th Dad is coming home. Home for the holiday.
Thank you for your presence in all of our lives. We are so grateful. Dad's life expanded our life in a beautiful way. And getting to know people through him, people like you, carries us in memories, in ways that comfort us now. Please, keep Irv and his kids, his family, in your prayers at this time.
Please, come join us on this journey. Thank you for your expressions of love in the journal notes, in your prayers, and visits if possible. In the Spirit of Irv's Joy and Love for life... Peace, Irv's Family