It had been a while since I heard from my father. I sent him a card and gifts but didn’t hear back. In 2020, his 85th birthday, not hearing from him for over a year created mixed emotions. No gratitude for the gift. What am I supposed to think? On October 28, 2020, his wife finally called and told me he was dying from terminal cancer. The worst part was that she said he didn’t want to see me. Why would he say that?
Being in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, she shared that would be unable to see him. Nothing felt right. Why didn’t she tell me he was ill? Why didn’t he open up and tell me himself? I knew he was working on his estate plan in 2017. In 2018, it was my 60th birthday and I stopped by to see him.
He wanted my brother and me to join him for a therapy session. I told him I would participate but never heard back. With this information and a state of frustration, I picked up the phone and started dialing. Clearly, my father’s only daughter found out he was terminally ill at the last minute. I left no stone unturned, from elderly abuse to the nurse in the hospital and finally, Washington DC.
They say never take no for an answer. Restrictions were that we could not visit our father in the hospital due to COVID-19. His wife transferred him to hospice, and the same thing that we could only see him through video at most. When I called Washington DC and talked to someone about Elderly Abuse, I got a satisfactory answer. The man said, “You were told that you cannot see your father because of COVID-19 restrictions? That makes no sense. He is dying anyway. Go see your father.” At that point, I called the hospice and arranged for my entire family to see him on November 8th, 2020. The first lesson I learned was “Be persistent.”