Home » HERE WE GO JOE: How one family created a final home for a father with dementia with love, honor, and dignity by Hannah Darrah
HERE WE GO JOE: How one family created a final home for a father with dementia with love, honor, and dignity Hannah Darrah

HERE WE GO JOE: How one family created a final home for a father with dementia with love, honor, and dignity

Hannah Darrah

Published July 26th 2015
ISBN :
Kindle Edition
136 pages
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 About the Book 

I had been a special educator for over three decades and was looking forward to my retirement. It had been difficult work in so many ways but also rewarding. By the time I actually left the classroom, I was both elated and confused. In the followingMoreI had been a special educator for over three decades and was looking forward to my retirement. It had been difficult work in so many ways but also rewarding. By the time I actually left the classroom, I was both elated and confused. In the following months after I closed this chapter in my life, I found myself wandering around without a professional purpose for the first time since childhood. I often wondered what God wanted me to do during this season and so I spent a lot of time in His word and conversing with Godly people. I tried to reopen my teaching career but each door seemed to close in my face. I knew this was God telling me that he had a different direction in mind for me and that I just needed to observe and trust in the new path that He was laying down.I personally wasn’t expecting that the journey would lead to writing a book about my family and the year of uncertainty that led up to it. One hint that a book would be in the horizon started with my Bridge Club. We usually play once a month on a Friday evening. On one such evening, one of the players passed out a journal for each person to take home and write in. She had recently found herself between jobs and was also searching for a purpose. She was thinking about putting together a book about our group and the different lives we would experience during this one particular year.On March 1, 2014 I wrote my first entry: Friends. What an incredible gift. Last night I sat around my friend’s dinner table sharing my life and comforting a friend in pain. This morning I arrived a little late to my prayers group and was welcomed with hugs and warm embraces. As we sat to pray, I felt hands that I have held for over a decade and thinking about how grateful I am to have these women in my life. As I came home, I received a call from a dear friend that wasn’t feeling well. As we briefly caught up on our personal lives. I once again realized how blessed I am. I was once told that friends are like a flower garden. If they are tended with care, a beautiful garden will be created for a lifetime.Hours after placing my pen down, my father-in-law called to tell us that he had been diagnosed with lung cancer. We were not sure what this would mean to us but we knew in our hearts that it was going to impact all of our lives in a drastic manner. It was then that I began to journal the events that were taking place and how it was affecting all of us.My journal was a place where I would write down notes pertaining to doctors’ appointments and the next steps we needed to take. As I flip through this initial journal I have found recipes, addresses, phone numbers, directions, but mostly my thoughts about what was happening in my life.My daughter thought she had a tumor on her kidney and I wrote notes about our visit to several doctors concerning this. Thankfully, it was a benign cyst that didn’t need to be addressed.Financial issues clutter the journal with thoughts about how God is providing for us even when we wonder how we will be able to manage our bills. I wrote in one entry:God is pushing everything out of the way so it is clear that He is working. I am going to expect great things!After Joe’s medical condition became center stage, I began to thank God that I wasn’t working and had no professional commitments to keep me from helping our family get through the huge obstacles that kept arising.Life was getting crazier by the minute. Decisions about medical care and where Joe would end up kept rising to the top of all conversations and our personal thoughts. Doctors’ appointments and the waiting room experiences caused me to feel more deeply about people with chronic and terminal illnesses.