Thanks for joining me as I begin a new chapter of my life in Florida as a caregiver for my dad.
My intention for writing this blog is to document and process my journey as an untrained caregiver in hopes that I can shed some light on the later stages of PD, give other caregivers some hope and reprieve and let family and friends know how dad is doing.
As I answer this calling, I am leaving my husband, my son, my business, and most of my family and friends in Chicago. My teenage daughter is joining me, if only for a short while. Dad, her, the 2 dogs and I will be living together in a house close to the Atlantic Ocean in Jacksonville Beach. I have two brothers in town, so I’m not totally alone.
I knew this would happen one day. I wanted it to happen. I wanted to be able to take care of my dad when the time came. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s shortly after my mom passed away suddenly in December 2000. He’s told me that he knew before that but didn’t want to worry mom.
He’s been a fighter with this disease over the last 18 years. I thought my mom dying would destroy him. And then he got the diagnosis. And the cocktail of drugs. I am sure that is what kept him out of a deep depression unfortunately he totally swung the other way. It was lunacy for a couple years.
Growing up, he was a hard worker, a truck driver and he supported my mom as a stay at home mom and us 5 kids on his salary. We didn’t have the best of anything but we had food, clothing, shelter and love. We even had a nice 4 bedroom, 2 car garage house with a yard and good schools in the suburbs once we left Chicago. No credit cards, no debt. But after the Mirapex, all hell broke loose. Essentially, my dad ended up practically gambling the house away and my brother came to rescue him.
And the lunacy continued.
And then he found love again.
And moved to the US Canadian border.
And then in July of 2014 he needed to be rescued again.
And so the Florida chapter began, I like to call it the great Lake Migration. Brother #1 was relocated for work in 2011, dad July 2014, brother #2 November 2015, and now me.
I am calling this blog, “cooking for dad” because I will be cooking for dad and also that is how I care for people, that is how I release stress, it’s a creative outlet, a passion and that has been my vocation for the past 5 years.
Welcome to the adventure. Hang on, I am sure it will be a thrilling ride!