Not Dead Yet

Mark Twain once famously said:

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated”

after an obituary for him was mistakenly published.

Dear Old Dad found himself (thankfully) laughing and saying much the same last weekend.  It’s been a rough few weeks for Dad following a bout of septicaemia, from which he recovered.  A trip by ambulance  to Emergency in the middle of the night, followed by requests for Advance Health Directives (he was not expected to survive), a week in hospital and two weeks in rehab, and he is almost ready to come home.  I’m not sure who will be happier – Dad or Oscar!

My brother was visiting Dad last Sunday, and sitting playing cribbage with him.  His daughter sings in the choir at a church in Brisbane and called her father to tell him that after the service an elderly priest stood up in the congregation to announce with great sadness that Dad had passed away the previous week, and she had to stand up and say that in fact her grandfather was alive and that she was seeing him that afternoon.

About ten minutes later, my brother received a Facebook message from a friend in Sydney passing on his condolences on the death of our father – his name was on the prayer list at a church in Sydney, praying for the repose of his soul.

There was a mad scrambling of texts, messages, emails and phone calls between me, and  my brother and sister- we debated whether or not to tell Dad but on balance thought he would probably find out, so my brother had to break the news to dad of his untimely death.  My nephew thought we should wait three days to tell people that “on the third day he rose again”.  It was all very Monty Python-ish, and fortunately Dad could see the funny side, and we could too.  It was good for him to have a belly laugh. The Archbishop kindly sent out an email advising all clergy that Dad was alive and while not 100%, was recovering nicely and could they all please pray for his continuing recovery.  Perhaps that did the trick in getting Dad to the stage of being able to come home.  I am certain it contributed to Dad’s 7-2 thrashing of my brother at cribbage.

Dad in hospital

The downside?  I and once again embroiled in the merry go round that is My Aged Care, who seem to be fixated on making sure the elderly can’t use the services to which they are ostensibly entitled.  More to come…….




In the News

Andy Warhol once famously said that everyone in the future would be world-famous for  15 minutes.  Well Dear Old Dad has had his share recently (well, not really world famous, or famous at all… but you know what I mean) courtesy to me agitating incessantly about the pathetic funding available to enable the elderly to live in their own homes, and once approved the wait time for the package.

We appeared on the 7.30 report in January along with other people who had been approved for home care packages and were still waiting (12 months for Dad this month). The transcript of the program can be read here.  An on-line article featuring Dad came out after the program.

Following that I received a call from Alison Houston, a journalist who had seen it and wanted to interview Dad about his life and in particular his time in the country.  It has appeared in a few places but the best place to read this is in this issue of Gold Coast Seniors Magazine, pp30-31.  One part is about Dad’s life, the other about Home Care packages.