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Thank you all so much for coming today to help my brother, sisters and me remember our father, Ralph.
I am so happy to be able to look out and see the faces of those very special people who cared for dad and supported me during the past 3 years at Lincoln Place. I have come to know some very special people, particularly dad's companions...Wahid, dad's companion during his last 16 months, Miajan, Mimi, Sheila, Kabir...I can't thank you enough. Also Merci, Ashya, Julie, Michael...I could not do the job you do so compassionately every day at Lincoln Place.
I also offer heartfelt thanks to Timothy Eaton Church and particularly Dr. H. for welcoming dad and me into your church. I'm particularly grateful because apart from my visits, the only other thing that seemed to touch my father's soul was being in church. I also thank you for welcoming numerous elderly Jewish Lincoln Place residents; I don't know if they understood the service but they sure enjoyed the food afterwards!
My sister Deborah always said our father would not go quietly into the night. How right she was. Dad fought up to the very end. Deb and I thought we had lost him the Sunday before Easter but he rallied once again. For too long I have wondered where he got his strength from, a man imprisoned in both mind and body. I believe he was ready to go; that Sunday night when I was told - once again - that he would not last the night, I told dad I was going home for a quick shower and that I would be right back. I didn't know if he could hear me or not. Twenty minutes after my return, dad quietly stopped breathing. I believe he was waiting for me to be by his side, as I promised him I would be.
Those of you who knew dad in healthier times would agree I think that he was not an easy man to live with or love. But he somehow managed to mellow in his last years and appreciate those around him. Dad never complained about the cards fate had dealt him. After his first major stroke and I am sure after several smaller ones he said to me: "Karen, something is wrong. I don't know what it is, but something is wrong." I did not tell him I knew what it was, that he was slowly losing his mind.
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"Eulogy for Father." 123HelpMe.com. 17 Aug 2018
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My father kept his dignity right to the end, enabled by the compassionate care he received.
I believe there is a reason for everything, including what our father suffered. I have to believe this. It's because of the deeply forgetful people like him and because he allowed himself to be photographed, filmed and written about that the stigma has been removed from the words Alzheimer and dementia.
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Doug, Lanci, Debbie and I were loved unreservedly by our parents.
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