*Changing names to protect identities* 


My dear friend and I were talking tonight about her dad who had a stroke last year. How much he’s changed, her mother’s reaction as well as her own feelings on the subject. This woman who we will call Hope is quite literally the best person I have ever know. Her life hasn’t been perfect and hasn’t always been easy but she is a survivor in more ways than she knows.

Early last year Hope’s father who we will call Rob had a pretty big stroke. I don’t know all the details but it has changed him quite a lot. Hope has done her best to help him when she can even while still taking care of herself, husband, dog, house and work. It hasn’t been easy on her and I wish I could do more to help. Anyhow we were talking about Rob tonight and I think we both realized something that hadn’t been said out loud. Hope is in mourning. 

The mourning of the man he used to be, the conversations they used to have, the independent and strong man he once was. I know Rob socially and he is definitely not the same person I met a few years ago and it has affected everyone around him in one way or another. His wife is going through the anger stage and that makes it difficult for Hope because she just wants the best for her dad. *Mary and Rob have always been very independent people that lived exciting lives and now Rob needs Mary to help him and it’s not something she’s used to and her reaction is anger. I wish she would talk to someone because it is definitely not an easy task to take care of anyone young or old that have special needs or that needs you that much. It’s a struggle to keep your head above water while pulling this person you love to safety with no life boat in sight. 

Anyhow this is really about Hope and I hope she reads this soon. You are an amazing person, woman, daughter, wife, and friend that would give the shirt off your back so someone else won’t feel cold. This is not easy and it will not get easier overnight but I’m glad we got to the point that you know you are mourning that means you are one step away from accepting the new Rob. I will be here for you every step of the way that I can. Right now everything seems dark but I promise you that there is a silver lining in all this hell. You get to re-know your dad in a way that most people don’t get to. Learn his new likes and dislikes and roll with it. You both get a second chance to get closer together which in the end will be the best thing for you both. It may take time and effort and frustrations but you will always have your dad even if he is a new version of him. 

Hope this is not the end……it’s a new beginning