Category Archives: These are dedicated to “Daddy’s hands”

I want to tell you about the man I call Daddy

I want to tell you about a man that made me so mad at times that I wanted to scream.  I want to tell you about a man that I love so much I’d die for him.  I want to tell you about the man that I call Daddy…

I will forever cherish the fragrant childhood memories of my Daddy.  As a young girl I remember him pulling tangles out of my hair so tenderly that I was amazed that it didn’t hurt.  As he hand picked those tangles he talked to me telling me he loved me & he was picking on my Mama telling her that’s how you do it.

I remember being sick, burning up with fever & Daddy wiping me down with ice & alcohol… I remember him sitting with me at the hospital after I had surgery and I wanted chips, he got me some Bugles–to this day when I get a bag of Bugles I think about that night. I remember getting ready for school, breaking into tears because I felt bad and Daddy rocking me & I was almost too big for his lap, he told my Mama I could stay home from school with him.

I remember Daddy being so mad because I had done something stupid…. I remember him telling me why I could or couldn’t do things.  I remember the good things about growing up because that’s all that matters.  I had loving parents that worried about me having what I needed in life.

I remember a hard working man, a proud man, a man that would do just about anything for anybody.  I remember a man that took care of his family with everything that he had.

My Daddy taught us to be strong, to be proud, to not take BS, to work hard for what we wanted.  He worried about us being responsible with our money.  At times he would share his opinion with us whether we liked it or not but, he always had our best interests at heart.

My absolute best memories are of us camping during the summers when I was a teenager.  Daddy would work an extra week on the boat so he could take 3 weeks off to spend time with us at the camp.  We would load up the boat with supplies and head out to our little paradise with Nanny, Uncle Hub & their kids…. we would put out fishing lines in the lake, go frogging at night and eat like royalty.  We learned how to swim out there–Daddy tied a rope to us and made us swim across the bayou as he sat on the bow of the boat holding onto that line for dear life, giving us just enough slack so we had room to swim.  I got up early one morning and went swimming while everyone was still sleeping, boy when he got up and saw me in the water he went to yelling get out of that water girl.  Well I cut my knee on the way out, still have a scar from it, he wanted to stitch it with needle & thread… not happening…. We would take a small TV with us, I remember watching wrestling out in the middle of the woods & thinking now this is the life.

Daddy never asked for much, he was happy with the simple things in life.  He did not always say I love you but, when he did you could feel the love.  As I got older when I would tell him I loved him, he’d say oh get out of here with that mushy stuff… his response most of the time was “me too” with a slight smile.

A few years ago I was blessed to be able to take Mom & Daddy to a Celtic Women concert… He loved the Celtic Women, he called them his girls.  When we got there he was tickled pink, I remember him clapping along with the songs and lights gleaming in his eyes.  During intermission we went to the restroom, Daddy & I were in the back waiting on my Mom, Daddy turns to me & says “In case I forget to tell you later I had a good time”  I smiled from ear to ear, my heart overflowing with joy that I was able to do this for him and I thought about the elevator scene in Pretty Woman.

The past few years have been rough seeing my Daddy slipping away, losing his memory, trying to talk not being able to remember the words.

Now I have to say Goodbye to the man that I call Daddy and I don’t know how to do that.  He will always be a part of me, he will always be in my heart & in my memory.  He gave me a lifetime of lessons that have made me the woman I am today.  I thank God everyday that he blessed me with such a strong man for a Daddy.  A man that was soft & kind when I was crying and hard as steel if I’d done wrong.  He knew how to balance the good & the bad.  He was stern when he needed to be & loving when I was hurting.

Thank you all for being here with us and supporting us through his journey home.  It is greatly appreciated.  My dear sweet Mama will need your support in the next week, months and years to come.  She will need calls to say Hi, visits for coffee & invites to dinner.  She cared for my Daddy and did it well & for that I am forever grateful.  All my love to everyone….

 

Crystal

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recall tender memories as Father begins to fade

So tomorrow is Father’s day and you know how you always think of what to get Dad, what would dad like, what would dad be able to use???  Well over the years that was not too difficult as my dad was a hard worker, a fisherman, a mechanic, a gardener…  He did pretty much anything he wanted to do & let me tell you he was not afraid of working hard, getting his hands dirty and getting the job done.  Fast forward about 30 years and now my dad can barely get around on his own, he sits in his chair about 90% of the time during the day.

I try to remember the good times that we had, I remember one morning daddy came in from work and I was getting ready for school, mom was rushing trying to get me ready for the bus, combing my hair with me crying of course…. so daddy fussed at my mama a lil bit & gave her that sideways grin and said “come see my baby, I’ll comb your hair, he sat there and hand picked the knots out of my hair, I’ll never forget looking at all those knots in the ashtray and thinking, that didn’t hurt at all.  I felt loved, I felt special, I felt important to my daddy.  I know it may seem like such a small thing but, I think of this often and thank God for those tender moments in my memory.

I remember going get daddy late one night because my chest hurt, I told him I couldn’t breathe, he says are you sure it’s not just indigestion, I was not sure.  So he didn’t complain, he got up, got my asthma medicine and came sit on the side of my bed to make sure I was alright.  I can still see him sitting there in my memory.

I remember once I was home sick, one of the many times, and I had been laying down.  Well when I got up I went to give Daddy a hug and he said oh my God girl you are burning up!  So he got some alcohol and ice and started wiping me down with it.  I was so hot that this cold rag felt so good.  I’m not sure how high my temp was, but it was enough to scare him.

I remember when I had surgery daddy came stay a night with me at the hospital and he had to write down all fluids that I had and he was picking on me about having to take notes.  & I wanted some chips, he went to the chip machine and got me some Bugles, I tell you to this day when I see a bag of Bugles, I think about that night and I think about my daddy.

I remember daddy taking us to the camp when we were younger.  He would work 3 straight weeks at work so that he could have 3 weeks off with us.  We would go to the camp, hunt, fish, swim…  Daddy tied a rope around each myself and my brother and he made us swim across the bayou, all the while he’s in the boat holding onto that rope, right there to catch us if something went wrong.  I felt such love, such pride in him while he was teaching us things.

I remember getting into trouble and feeling the disappointment come out from him while correcting me.  I felt the pain that he felt from having to correct me.  I know my daddy didn’t scold me to be mean, he scolded me to teach me right from wrong, he scolded me to show me that there are certain things that you just don’t do.  I am eternally grateful that he was stern with me, he taught me to respect my elders, to love others and to always be honest.

I remember alot of times, all daddy had to do was look at me & I knew whatever I was doing I better stop.  Also, all he had to do was point when he wanted something done, like cleaning the kitchen at night, and I knew, hop to it….

I didn’t argue with my dad growing up, we had our moments don’t get me wrong but, I respect him, I respect my mother too.  I’ve never raised my voice to my daddy and I don’t plan to.

There are many other memories that I hold dear of my Father and I could go on for many hours, maybe even days…. but, I’m hoping you get the point of how important it is to have a Daddy in your life.  That stern figure in your life, that you learn to love and respect.  That figure that you learn from as he guides by example.  I’m not saying that everyday was perfect.  That would not be true, what I am saying is that I’ve learned that you hold on to the good memories, the fun memories.  The good memories far outweigh the bad.  I cherish each and every memory that I have with my Daddy, I thank God for him and my mom everyday.  I’m just talking more about my Daddy because it’s father’s day.

It breaks my heart to see the man that was so strong, so stern with us as children, such a hard worker, not afraid of nothing slipping away to this thief in the night, this disease that is stealing my Daddy from me!  Dementia (Alzheimer disease) is a horrifying, debilitating disease and it affects the whole family, just like cancer does.   I see him drifting off to a world that is dark, a world that he does not understand, a world where he has no control.

Things that my Dad would NEVER  let anyone else do around the house are now being done by my Mom, myself or my brother.  We are having to step up in the maintenance of the house, the yard work and such.  My niece has been cutting the grass for quite some time now and I honestly don’t know what we would do without her helping.

Daddy has come to enjoy going to a local restaurant on Fridays for frog legs, I tell you he can eat for hours.  My niece usually goes with them and she helps get everything situated while my mom helps my Daddy in.  My niece gets Dad a drink, sets his food out, helps bring in the groceries, if they’ve gone to the store & usually they do, she lets the dogs out and such.  All Daddy has to do is go in & sit down with his plate.  She takes great pride in helping to take care of him, assisting my mom with chores.  Sometimes Mom has to ask her more than once to do things but, that’s just being a kid.

I’ve come to learn many years ago to cherish loved ones, to thank God for the time that you have been blessed with them.  It is easy to take things for granted and sometimes I do have to catch myself and remember that we’re not promised tomorrow.  I do thank God for blessing me with such a loving family, such a strong family.

So this is a small tribute to my father on father’s day.  A tribute to thank you for all that you have done for us, all you have sacrificed, all the hard work over the years and all the time that you took to teach us values and respect.

All my love,

Your Daughter

Living with Dementia; A thief in the night

Have you ever been going along in life and everything is just peachy and then all of a sudden you get a rude wake up call?  Yeah…. That was us this past week.  Everything was going along just fine and my Dad who has Alzheimer’s and then he got an upper respiratory infection.  Man did it throw him for a loop.  We went to the neurologist for his check up and ended up in the emergency room.  They gave him an antibiotic, an inhaler and something for his cough.  Well poor thing his nose was running so bad my mom had to go get some dayquil, it really helped.  Well later that night when we got home my mom and I were getting his medicine ready and I suggested that he take 2 allergy tabs and I don’t know if it was from the medicine or if it was just from him being sick and weak, but he could not stand up, he was confused, he just looked at us when we would try to get him to do something.  It took me and my mom to stand my dad up and even with the both of us it was not an easy feat.

It’s starting to become real now, seeing him like that last night, helpless, it broke me!  I knelt by his chair and apologized for having to help him this way, I cried telling him that things are changing and we are going to have to help him do some very uncomfortable things.  Things that he’s not going to want us to do and we’re not exactly going to want to do them.  But, we are here to help him.  We are not here to make him feel like any less of a man or a person, we just want to help.

My dad has always been a rough, tough dude and to see him declining, hardly being able to stand up, it just kills me.  I want to keep that vision of my dad being strong, able to take on anything, but unfortunately that vision is quickly fading as I see him getting weaker and weaker.  I wonder how hard it is on him knowing that he can’t get out and do the things he used to, to be able to go fishing or hunting or even driving to the store.  I mean we work all our life to retire and enjoy our Golden Years, right.  And along comes dimentia, a thief in the night taking away our ability to walk, to stand to think and to speak what we want to say.  Many times daddy’s words are tangled and then he’ll say, awe you know what I mean.  Sometimes he gets my name right, sometimes I’m just that girl or that woman over there.

I’ve learned a very long time ago to cherish every moment with loved ones for you know not the day or hour that you will lose one of them forever.  I’m doing my best to cherish the time I have left with my daddy for I know now it is short.  It may be 2 years, it may be 6 months or it may be one week.  All I do know is that this dimentia came like a theif in the night, stealing my daddy from me, changing our lives forever.  It has certainly left it’s mark on our lives and now all we can do is live day to day, thanking God for each day that he blesses us with the opportunity to have my daddy here with us.  All I do ask is that he not suffer in the end, I could not bare to see him suffer.  And I ask for strength and peace for my mom as she is getting the brunt of this because my brother and I have to work, I mean we do what we can, but we have bills and I know that they understand that, it doesn’t make it any easier to not be there though.

This is dedicated to my precious Mom and Dad

 

For the first time I see beauty in “Teaching the Danger”

Daddy Daughter

As of late I have become very sentimental about things in my childhood.  You know as they say you never really appreciate your parents knowledge as a child.  Well like just about everyone else that holds true to me as well.  I sit here thinking of the special times that we shared as a family during my childhood.  I would have to say that the summers that we spent camping on the bayou were the absolute best times that are near my heart. I remember Daddy working extra time on the boats so that he could take off an extra week to spend camping with us.  We would pack up all our supplies and head out not just for a weekend camping trip but, for a couple of weeks.  When we first started going we would put up the tents and over time we built a camp with my Nanny & her husband and kids.  I can still smell the roux cooking as my Nanny was in the kitchen making a huge pot of chicken stew.  Oh, how my Nanny can cook.  Mmmmm…….  She would bring enough groceries for a few days and then once we would go out frog hunting or fishing and get enough for a meal, we would have that.  Awww….fresh caught fried catfish & frogs…..that is the best.  There is nothing in the world like it.  Simple stuff, ya know.

Oh my God, this is such a fond memory for me…..We built an outhouse and put a bathtub in it.  Well my uncle ran a hose from the bayou with a pump on the end.   Well he was the first one to take a shower and man when that water hit him he yelled, you probably could have heard him for a mile!  The water was cold….we laughed so hard!  Well when he came out he was laughing just as much!  Ahh, the memories……

Well let me get to the meat and potatoes of this story…..I can see Daddy sitting on the bow of the boat, holding a line that he tied around my waist and he had me swimming across the bayou.  I can’t remember all what we talked about but, it was the time that he was taking to teach me the danger of the water, the danger of the world.  But, you know he taught me so much more than just the danger, he taught me simplicity.  The simplicity of life.  He taught me that you do not need diamonds and pearls, or a fine mansion.  I mean they would be nice but, they are material things.  He taught me to appreciate what I have, to work hard for what I want and to give it all I’ve got.

I remember the laughter, the nights that we all sat up playing cards or just talking.  I remember us going out frog hunting and being out till almost dawn, we would come back so tired yet, happy and the peace that we had out there.  Oh, it’s like nothing else I’ve ever experienced.  I mean you have the gators, snakes, spiders and God only knows what else out there but, we were not afraid.  We knew the dangers because Mom and Daddy taught us about the dangers and what to stay away from and what to look for.

I have been so blessed to have such caring parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles to teach the dangers that I would face in this world today.  They will never know just how precious those fragrant memories and those once in a lifetime lessons are to me & how they helped shape me into the woman that I am today. I am forever grateful.

I miss those simple times, those precious fragrant memories that sometimes seem so far away in this busy world that we have created for ourselves.  I miss family time, I miss the closeness that we all shared, the quality of our relationships.

Dedicated to my wonderful Mom and Dad

Crystal Gilchrist Rodrigue Hoksbergen

March 11, 2015

Just getting started…a lot on my mind tonight

Drama free day

Good evening sha!

Hope this finds you doing well.  It’s been a long day, glad to be home relaxing with my wonderful husband.  This is my very first post to my blog & I’m not exactly sure where this is going to take me.

I have a lot on my mind tonight.  It is so hard seeing my dad declining in health.  I know the sad truth of reality is setting in and my mom will not be able to care for him alone.  My dad has always been a strong willed Cajun man and I respect him for that.  Daddy has always been a tough old bird teaching us to respect our elders, to work hard and give everything that you have.  When the going gets tough; YOU GET TOUGHER!  With Daddy there was no excuse for not getting the job done.  He instilled values in my brother and me with toughness yet, gentleness.  Kinda like the song “Daddy’s Hands”  Soft & kind when you’ve been crying, hard as steel when you’ve done wrong.  I tell you I thank my Daddy, my mom and my Grandmother for raising us up right.  My brother and I may not be labeled as “Successful” in some people’s eyes.  But, I tell you what we are very thankful to be who we are and have what we have.  We were taught to turn to God and to each other in time of need.  Thank God neither of us ever turned to drugs or alcohol, which is so very easily accessible & I pray and thank God everyday for the values instilled in us.  Huh, we KNEW that if we did drugs, Daddy would tear us up!  I tell you what I am so GRATEFUL for this!  We need more Daddy’s like this in my book!

Well, enough about that for now.  Tune in tomorrow to see what’s in store.  Ya’ll have a blessed night!