My late father and I on the plane to Israel when he made aliyah in 2009
One of the reasons I was glad to be privileged to sit shiva for my my father here in Shiloh is because he lived here with us for close to a year and had many friends.
Around Rosh Hashana of 2009, my mother had fallen badly and needed to be in rehab for a month. My father was in no condition to live on his own, so it was decided that I would bring him on aliyah, which is blogged about quite a bit way back when.
Aliyah To The Land of Israel At 89
It certainly wasn't an easy thing, but with the help and support of my children, husband, cousins and neighbors, I think we gave my father a wonderful experience. His brains cells may not have remembered it for long, but for sure my family here and neighbors certainly do. Many of the neighbors who came these past few days to menachem avel, comfort the mourner told me how much they had liked him and admired him.
Casting A Shadow
We had planned/expected/hoped to have my mother along with him here in Israel within a few months, but it just didn't happen. That's why after less than a year, we packed all but his heavy winter coat and took him to live in Arizona, with my mother and near my sister, who then had responsibility for both my parents.
I Explained That They Were Like Spies
But while my father was here in Shiloh he joined in all of our activities. One was the annual visit of "the spies."
Dementia is a very strange and variable condition. I'll have to blog more about it at a later time, but I must say that although my father hadn't been able to take full responsibility for himself for many years before he came to live with us, his "social genes/brain cells" were unaffected. Many people who got to know him during the time he had lived with us were completely unaware that he suffered from dementia. He could still win playing cards. His game of choice was "Casino," which requires planning and addition. That was a favorite in his family for kids and suited his CPA mind.
Keeping Busy, Arts, Crafts and Exercise
I must say that the father I had live with us was not the same father who had raised me. When I was growing up he was busy and stressed out working, supporting the family. But decades later--remember that I was already a grandmother--I got to meet a really wonderful loving person. I had to stop working that year, and although we really didn't have enough income to live on, it was a year of great value for the entire family and our Shiloh neighborhood.