Wednesday, May 30, 2018

My Dad ended his fight with Parkinson's.

My dad, Frank, had been fighting Parkinson's for 13 years. He did a great job holding it off. He was committed to his participation in a study at the Mayo Clinic for PD sufferers. He tried so hard. Mom was a fierce fighter with him. She worked incredibly hard keeping dad on schedule with his meds, exercise, appts., etc.... Summer, 2017, his delusions started taking over his brain. He thought people were fighting with him, trying to steal his money, saw fires, etc.... It was just so sad to watch. Mom tried to keep him at home but he was just way too hard to deal with. He would get up at night and do very odd things. One time mom found dad in the van in the garage with a duffle bag packed, at 0300 hrs. He said he was waiting for me to pick him up. Other times he would get outside and wander. Sometimes he fell down outside and couldn't get up. And mom couldn't get him up when he would fall. We moved them into Lilydale Senior Living memory care unit. It was the best care we could possible give him. But he still was very active and delusional at night. The stress was just too much for mom. She moved back home and we kept dad at Lilydale. This tore him up. He thought mom had left him for another man, and taken all his money. Very sad times. Christmas was going to be at Jim & Anne's new Afton house. Knowing this would likely be dad's last Christmas with us we wanted to make it as special as possible. We hired a great music duo, husband and wife Andy and Catherine. They let me play drums with them too! She plays piano, and he plays guitar. They often perform at Cafe Latte. They were the greatest. And dad loved it! Paula got him up dancing. No easy feat for dad, he struggled just to walk by this time. He even managed to keep his hallucinations in check. I think he was really having a great time. Unfortunately, this was the last time he seemed to be somewhat in touch with reality. January was the worst. He almost never was with us in the moment. It was constant delusions and hallucinations. His food intake almost completely stopped. He was checking out, so to speak. By mid January he was pretty much catatonic. We all kept vigil with him. Taking turns sleeping next to him. And spending our days with him, trying to keep upbeat, yet knowing the end was near. On January 24th Jim, Anne, Paula, and I were with him in the evening. Mom and Linda had been with him all day and went home around dinner time. We had music playing and we kept talking to dad. Anne had a stethoscope so she could give us a report on his heartbeat and breathing. She said his heartbeat had started changing dramatically and she knew he would die soon. I'll let you watch Paula's eulogy for the rest. Partly because I'm crying too much to type right now. And partly because she did such a fabulous job with it.  Frank Winsor Eulogies

Linda, Evan, and Steph did great jobs with their eulogies too. Please click on them and watch.

Another long overdue post.

I've been pretty bad about keeping up with my blog. Oh well. I just need to try harder. I see the last entry I made was about our trip to Idaho. Well, last summer (2017) was a good one. The World Police & Fire Games were supposed to be in Montreal so I had been doing a fair amount of cycling to be ready. Montreal didn't work out so they moved the games to Los Angeles. That's good because then we could see old friends there. I decided to get a smaller trailer for putting the bicycles in and then rent a car when we got to LA. I've often wanted a smaller enclosed trailer than our car hauler. So it worked great. I ordered a Legends aluminum trailer. I spec'd everything and had it built just the way I wanted. 10' long, 3k axle, bigger tires, roof vent, no side door, ramp rear door, stainless hardware, etc.... I put Yakima brackets on the floor so I could put my racks inside for the bikes. I also wired it into the alarm system of the motorhome. Worked really nice for the bikes. I also set it up as a spare bedroom in case we need it.

We visited our friend, Susan Craven, outside Denver. Her husband, Mike, passed away around Christmas last year. Very sad deal. We had a really nice visit with Susan. We cried a lot. It was so good to spend some time with her though. We also got to visit Susie and Marshall Steel at Grand Junction, CO. Always good to stay in touch with them.

We stayed in the Moab KOA on the way out west. Had a great visit to Moab. Did some off road riding but Paula didn't have her fat tire bike so her hybrid wasn't the best. We went on an off road adventure in a Hummer H1. That was great! Very scary. Those H1's are very competent off road. It was a sunset cruise so we got way up in the hills and had a nice snack and beverage while watching the sun set.

We stayed at the Acton, CA, KOA. It was a great location, very close to the cycling events. But there were commuter rail lines right next to the campgrounds and the rotten train engineers always blasted the horns when passing the campgrounds. I'm convinced they did it to be mean because there was no grade crossing anywhere around. The park electrical was marginal. In the afternoon the voltage would drop on one of the legs so we could only run one a/c unit. Not the best. Especially since it was VERY hot all day every day. The Games were great. L.A.P.D. did a super job putting them on. The crit was FAST! I got dropped handily about 5 laps in. Kept riding hard and catching other dropped riders. The TT was cool. It started up the valley in the canyon. Full road closure. 5 miles downhill and 5 miles uphill. I did fine for me. Middle to nearer the lower end of my age group. There was a crazy hard hill climb TT. I didn't get last. So that's good. The road race was fun. 35 miles, one lap, up in the Soledad Canyon area. I stayed with for the first 7 miles and then it started climbing. BIG climbing! Got dropped but kept riding hard. Didn't get passed by any of the guys that got dropped before me. It was very very hot too. I finished about mid in my age group again. I drank 5 bottles during the 35 miles, and that still wasn't enough. We had a great time meeting cops and their families from all over the world. We got to spend some time with Shawn and MaryAnn Ruda. We got to visit Paula's old friend, Cathy Rafter Huetmaker. Wonderful times, very memorable. After the road race we got on the road to home. We pulled out Wednesday afternoon and made it 500 miles before sleeping somewhere. Then Thursday we did 750 miles. Then Friday another 750 miles and made it to Paula's 40th high school reunion pre-party. At least we got to take our time getting to LA and do a lot of relaxing.

The 2019 Games are supposed to be in China. I don't have any intention of going to China. And it's really hard, but fun, to cycle enough to enjoy the games. 2021 is Denmark. I might be convinced to go there. We'll see. That's all for now, thanks for reading.

Here's the pictures I took on the trip:   Photo album from 2017 World Police & Fire Games