I’ve just finished reading the last Carnival of Homeschooling for 2011 over at Susan Ryan’s Corn and Oil. These days my boys are gone from the homeschooling nest as well, but they often reflect that the opportunity to learn at their own pace and explore their interests has stayed with them as they venture on in life.
I was pleasantly surprised to see my good friend Kaye Swain participating over at Susan’s edition of the COH. I know Kaye as a monthly contributor to the EldercareABC, Inc. blog. It’s delightful to know how small and connected our world truly is. Kaye has been a great source of care giving encouragement to me over the past year, which is a good segue to explain where I’ve disappeared to since my last post in May 2011.
On July 2nd, 2010, my Dad coded after an emergency endoscopy to unblock a blocked liver duct. After his resuscitation, we all began a journey my dad would not have chosen, but that led him and our family to meet some very wonderful people. Due to his limited mobility after the resuscitation, Dad moved to the Renaissance Health Center where one of us visited him daily until he passed away peacefully and with dignity on July 8th, 2011.
Dad often told others about the wonderful opportunities that homeschooling offered our family. He was even buried in a biodegradable urn made by our good homeschool friends Debra and Stephen Bures at Elements Gallery. We had a memorial celebration at the Renaissance where we were delighted to celebrate his life with friends, family, many of his fellow residents and the awesome staff who cared for him. Even the local newspaper editor, Mary Jane Skala, whom my Dad sparred with regularly over their political differences over the years came to the service.
Shortly after he passed, my Mom took a tumble on a loose rug at the local bank. After a long series of emergency room visits and hospital admissions, she ended up at the Renaissance as well, so we are once again making our daily visits there. The staff and residents continue to be great and will forever remain a part of our family. (One thing we found enriched our lives when we were homeschooling was volunteering. If you are a homeschooling family or group in the Cleveland area, you couldn’t ask for a nicer place to volunteer. If you are interested, just contact me!)
If homeschooling has taught me anything over the years, it is to be an advocate, stand up for my rights, stand up for others and to embrace the responsibilities life presents me. To have so many of you in my life who do the same brings great joy to my life. Thank you and Happy, Healthy 2012 to each of you!