A Skippers Tale XCII

By The Numbers

It’s been brought to my attention that my last post might have given an invitation to Dad’s funeral and where… but not when.

To fix this error here are the FULL details.

WHERE:  Fremantle Crematorium, West Chapel
WHEN: 10am, Wednesday 7th October 2015.WAKE to follow at Fremantle Navy Club.

Sorry about that…

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A Skippers Tale XCI

Final Berth

Barbara and Yoli invite you all to come an join us to farewell our beloved Husband and Father.

The service will be held in the West Chapel of the Fremantle Crematorium with the wake to follow at the Navy Club in the City of Fremantle.

In Iieu of flowers we are inviting donations to be made in Fred’s name to the Cure Brain Cancer organisation.

https://www.curebraincancer.org.au/my-fundraising/9809/give-in-memory-a-skippers-tale

Please come and help us celebrate the loving, joyful life of a true Gentleman.

A Skippers Tale XC

Change of Course

Okay.  Small amendment to last nights post.  Shortly after posting things I was heading to be when a startling and worrying thought crossed my mind.  Saturday October 3 might NOT be the best date to have a Fremantle Funeral.

For those of you not up with Australian Culture, the last Saturday in September (or near enough to) is considered by some, to be a holy high day… else wise known as the AFL Grand Final.

This year both Western Australian Teams run a chance of getting into said final, depending on how they play this week. (The VFL supporters reading this can just grind their teeth someplace else for the night <grin> )  Anyhoo, having a funeral on a grand final Saturday could be problematic – especially if Freo gets in.

That and coupled with a couple of people not being able to make that Saturday, Mum and I seemed to have settled on Wednesday the 7th of October now.  This is still to be confirmed with the Funeral Directors tomorrow.

Anyway… I must push off as the relaxants I have taken are starting to kick in and I need a good nights sleep.

Your many wishes of condolence and love are really appreciated by Mum and I, even if we don’t get back straight away.

Love

Yoli

A Skippers Tale XXXIX

Permission to come aboard sir?

There is no easy way of putting this.  This evening we had a call from Bethesda just after 8pm to let us know that Dad had passed away.

Ever the free spirit, it appears that Dad had decided that it was time to pull up anchor and set his course on new and heavenly horizons.

As much as it was expected, it still came as a shock as we had, only a couple of hours earlier, spoken to the Nurses who gave no indication of an imminent demise.  From what the nurse said, they were settling Dad for the night making sure he was clean and comfortable when suddenly he was no longer with us.

A decision had to be made.  Did we want to come in and say goodbye, or did we want to come in tomorrow and collect his things.  I decided that I would go in.  This was for two reasons.  1) I could tell Mum wouldn’t be able to, and 2) I wanted to get some paperwork into the hospital before the funeral directors arrived.  When this happened back in February (32 weeks to the day) Mum, Dad and I had discussed an option that was available that could help other people.  Dad has decided to donate his brain to the National Brain Bank.  As ghoulish as it sounds, our reasoning is – this insidious little shite that set up home in Dad needs to be studied.  There is not very much information as to how and why they form.  The research may not have helped Dad, but perhaps Dad’s donation might help someone else in the future.  So I needed to get the consent forms into the hospital so that the funeral home knew what to do.

When I got there Dad was in the bed, looking for all intents and purposes like he had just drifted off.  I sat with him for a moment and told him that we loved him before i had the opportunity to play a couple of pieces of music that meant something to me and my faith and gave me a chance to say good bye in my own way before collecting his things and heading home.

I did mention it last night, but now it’s happened I can expand on things.  All things being equal the service for Dad will be held at the Fremantle Crematorium on Saturday 3rd October 2015 (time TBA).  There will be a wake following at the Navy Club in Fremantle itself.

Mum and I have set up a fundraising site for the Cure Brain Cancer in Dad’s name

http://www.curebraincancer.org.au/my-fundraising/9809/give-in-memory-a-skippers-tale

So for now I will sign off, and thank you for following this journey we have had.

Love

Yoli & Barb

A Skippers Tale XXXVIII

Festina Lente (Hasten Slowly)

Many of you may have heard through the grapevine that Mum and I are waiting for *that call*.  Having the event hanging over our heads like the Doom of Damocles is just plain tiring.

We went and saw Dad yesterday and were stunned with what we found.  Dad has basically slipped into a coma an is sleeping 100% of the time now.  The Nurses were telling us that Dad hasn’t had food or water for a about 3-4 days now, so the possibility of his body shutting down any tick of the clock is very very real.  At one point I put my hand on Dad’s thigh… it was horrifying for me to find that his thigh is now about the size of my forearm.

But the good thing is, he’s not in any pain.  The nurses reassure us ever times they move him there is no indication that he’s in discomfort of any kind.  Before we left both Mum and I said our ‘good-byes’ just in case something had happened over night.

The other day Sid and Franco the Navy Chaplin came out to see us about what we would like from a service.  Mum and I both agreed that Dad would want something simple and tasteful rather than windy and frothy (can’t you just hear him bellowing GET ON WITH IT!).  Franco did ask us if we knew anyone who might want to say a few words in eulogy for Dad… so if you are reading this and would like to, please message me on my home email rimsey@iinet.net.au and we can chat.

The service is going to be held at the Fremantle Crematorium, dad obviously to be advised.  In lieu of floral tributes I will be setting up a page on the “Cure Brain Cancer” website where donations may be made in Dad’s honour.

Like I said, my sleep is really screwy at the moment so I am going to go and sack out for an hour or so..

PS – Thanks to Todd for the quote today…

A Skippers Tale XXXVII

Sunset Beckons

I haven’t posted recently because in the grand scheme of things until the last 48 hours nothing of any real importance has occurred…  We have been battling the usual tidal wave of paperwork whilst trying to keep our heads above water.

WE seemed to strike it lucky for a bit with Dad’s super… until they told us that they weren’t going to accept our Power of Attorney because we didn’t send an acceptance letter (which nobody else has ever asked for).  We finally got that sorted and are waiting the funds which should arrive by the end of this week.

We wanted that in place for two reasons.  1) we still have a place pending at a care facility and we needed the funds and 2) I had booked a couple of days in Brisbane.

That was until 5.30 yesterday morning.

Those early morning calls are never what you want to hear.  It was Dad’s nurse to tell us that he had suffered a severe seizure that ultimately took them about a hour to get under control and the use of three lots of anti convulsion drugs to settle.

Feck Arse Shite

I woke Mum up and we headed into the Hospital post haste.  By the time we had gotten there Dad was sound asleep – they had expected him to do that for most of the day as the seizure would have taken a lot out of him.  They also expressed the fact that there is no way of knowing what affect this seizure is going to have on him.  As it was for the past week Dad has been so weak that he has been unable to bear his own weight for showers and the like.  Even raising his hand to pet Coco when we have taken her in has been damn near impossible.

Mum lasted about 20 minutes before the situation started to get the better of her.  This is incredibly hard for her because the man she has been married to for nearly 50 years has effectively left the building already.  Even when Dad’s eyes are open he seems to stare through you.

So we came home and discussed what was going to happen next.

Obviously the first thing I did was arrange to cancel my trip.  I had only decided to go when I was under the understand that Dad was going to remain stable.  There’s no way I would have considered it if there had been the slightest inkling this was going to happen.

I have been very lucky.  Qantas have been great about refunding my ticket and the guys from Oz Comic Con have said that I can hold my pass over until the next one (which will be Perth next year)… great to see that some people are still in the customer service business.

I have decided also that I am going to pull out of my Uni units this semester… it is too much for me to handle even the small amount that was required.

Anyway, it seemed we are just over yesterdays hurdle when another one has been tossed onto the course today.  I was up at my dentist having a scrape and clean when Mum got another call from Bethesda.  It would seem now Dad has developed pneumonia on his left lung!

We were given two options. 1) they could treat it with antibiotics and hope that Dad responded to it.  Or 2) they could give him a morphine based suppressant that would help the cough and just manage pain without ‘treating’ the infection.

Realistically we have had to look at the longer term.  If they treat it because Dad is bed ridden, the likelihood of it coming back is pretty good.  And it would prolong his life/suffering for how long?  We have decided to go with the second option.  Keep him comfortable and let him know we love him.

So that is where we stand right now… I feel a bit like a wet dishrag so I am going to bed.