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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  /My Dad /   Editorial List

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 My Dad

Although he passed away three years before the first edition of Today's Caregiver magazine rolled off the presses and when spam was still just considered a canned meat substance, I like to think that our Dad's heart, soul, humor and compassion can be found within all we do around here.

Dad was a gregarious guy who loved nothing more than learning all he could about the people he would meet, and was as comfortable talking with the guys on the line in his lumber plants as he was talking with the “suits” at corporate headquarters. Dad retired in 1990 at the age of 59 but soon afterward developed bone marrow cancer and since he was also a self-sufficient Marine, convincing him that spending time in a support group of others also dealing with cancer would be of value to him seemed an unlikely prospect. 

Therefore, I was justifiably surprised when, in a news report saturated with Gulf War stories, Tom Brokaw, ended his program with a personal interest story about cancer support groups.  They cut away to a support group in my home town of Miami, Florida and there was my dad, in a lively discussion with his fellow support group members.  A few months later, shortly before he passed away, dad told me that he regretted not finding his support group earlier than he did, because that little group had become such an important part of his life.  

One other thing about Dad. Shortly after moving back home after college and while grappling with some of the choices I faced trying to figure out in which direction to take my life, I remember one night when Dad stayed up waiting for me to come home so he can tell me a few words which would guide me to this very day. He said simply "I love you and respect you." For some reason, that short phrase made it all seem so very clear to me. Funny how some people only need a few words to make the greatest impact.

It's no wonder that some of the responses from last week's question about Male Caregiver were some of the best we've ever received:

I was a male home caregiver for my father-in-law...Continued

My wife of 40 years was severely injured in a car accident on 12/19/1989 ...Continued

My friend's father cared lovingly  for his wife through the entire course of Alzheimer's...Continued

My last parent, my mother, died on April 24, 2008 following a long battle with Alzheimer's...Continued

I wholeheartedly and joyously applaud all those male caregivers out there...Continued

Happy Father’s Day...again!



Gary Barg

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