Never did i think a pandemic would come along and stop me from spending time with dad! Who can relate? Comment if you haven't been able to see your loved one.
The last time i was able to go into the nursing home and hug dad was the tail end of February 2020! Almost a year ago. Its been incredibly hard this past year, living through the lockdowns, continuing to find the motivation to work and quite frankly scared someone i love would get Covid- 19 and not recover.
I know a lot of people think it's been made worse with the media, and have their conspiracy theories about the covid 19 pandemic. Some are very believable, but the way i look at it, if there is a chance my daddy could get sick and sadly pass away, i don't want to risk it. Keeping him safe is the most important thing to me, and always has been.
So, how can you stay in touch with loved ones, who can no longer speak to you on the phone?
Throughout the covid 19 pandemic, i have written daddy a letter, most weeks. I keep him updated on what i have been doing, what my brother is doing and let him know if friends and family have been asking about him.
I told him about the work my brother has been doing and the tractors he has been restoring and what we have been doing around our house. I think me laying concrete gave him a giggle!!
I told him about the Honda 50 moped i bought and my plans to fix it up, i cant wait to ride it into the nursing home and show him. Dad always did like bikes and classic cars.
I print photos and post them to him, so he can see what we're doing and also in the hopes that he won't forget me.
My biggest fear is that he will forget about me, forget who i am and what i look like.
I think about daddy almost every day and wonder does he know how much i love him. It hurts my heart to think about how he must feel. Does he understand what is happening and that for his safety and the safety of the other residents we can't come to visit? Or does he think we have abandoned him?
I got chatting to the nurse who cares for dad and she was able to tell me that when she is reading my letters he knows it is me, he moves his face and make sounds which lead her to believe he understands what she is reading. The day she told me this i cried with joy.
In December 2020 we have permission for daddy to receive the covid- 19 vaccines. Has any of your loved ones received the vaccine yet?
The vaccine gives me hope, hope that i soon might be able to visit dad and not be stuck behind a screen 2 meters away from him. Hope that i might be able to hug him and kiss him on the head like i always do. Hope i might once again be able to hold his hand.
During the summer of 2020, i was able to visit him a few times (maybe 5) but it was restricted where i had to sit on a chair 2 meters away from him and there was a screen between us. During the half-hour visit, i had to wear a face mask, which meant he couldn't see my face. If you follow me on Instagram (@Imnotdrunklifestyleblog) you will have seen photo's where most of the time he was sleeping.
The last visit he was unable to hold his head up, so i lay on the floor beside the screen so he could see me and we could talk, or at least i could talk to him.
I have called the nursing home a few times so he can hear my voice, but i am sure many of you in the same situation just find it upsetting talking to someone who can no longer talk back. I guess the only positive is that he can hear my voice and hear me tell him how much i love and miss him.
We can go to the nursing home and have a window visit, but quite honestly i find it incredibly upsetting, he is so close but yet feels so far. I visited with him on Fathers day, his birthday and Christmas day. For safety reasons the nursing home is unable to open the window, so even with a visit like this, he is unable to hear me.
A little trick for anyone who does visit their loved ones through a window - Call the nursing home and have them put the phone on speaker. Chat away to them as if the window was open or if you were there with them.
So to all of you who are away from your loved ones, stay strong, that the day will soon come when we can be with them again. Write to them, send the photo's, video call them or call them the old fashioned way on the telephone. Don't lose hope, this pandemic will end eventually and we will get back to some form of normality.
*I think the first thing i am doing is booking a flight to America to see my friends and family stateside, i miss them terribly* - After i go see dad and hug him to death of course!
In May 2020 we lost my grandfather, and i recently has a conversation with my cousin about how we didn't get to see him before he passed. He was out feeding the cows and at 89 his heart just wasn't fit to keep going. He is in a better place and peaceful. If anyone knew my granda he died doing what he loved and thankfully didn't suffer.
My worst nightmare would be to loose dad at this time, i understand our time is limited with him, and his body is so fragile, but i hope if and when that day comes i can be by his side and he knows how loved he was. We hadn't seen granda in months before he passed and sadly the funeral was a sorry affair with limitations on the number of people allowed the attend, we did make the most of the most of it though. For anyone reading this in Ireland or Northern Ireland you know, we all love a good wake. Spending 2 or 3 days with your loved one in the house and family, friends or neighbours calling to the house-sharing stories and having a great time remembering the person who is no longer with us. With the covid 19 regulations, this wasn't able to be done with Granda and its the one thing i hate covid - 19 for. I feel like we didn't get to celebrate grandas life properly.
So i would love to hear how you have kept in touch with your loved one throughout this pandemic, have you been able to see them? Every country is different and has different lockdown restrictions.
And remember, Covid- 19 won't last forever, we are and will get through this, stay strong, chat to friends and remember we will all have good days and bad days.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel, we have several vaccines out on the market and we just need to have a little more patience with the medical teams getting them out to everyone.
To anyone who has lost a loved one at this time, or due to covid- 19 i am incredibly sorry for your loss and hope that you are doing okay!
So off i go to the post box with another riveting letter for dad, talking absolute nonsense to him, but all the same, chatting away to him.