Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Almost Goodbye

Most of you know the story of my Dad.  He's known  to US99.5 listeners as "Big Ray". He's been fighting Alzheimer's like a boss with the help of my Mom.

My life is no different than yours. Lots of ups, great times and a few rough patches. My Dad has always been a constant in my life. He was my first friend, first teacher and first boss, He was my snowmobile partner. He was my fishing guide. He was my personal banker when I needed a loan. I drank my first beer with him. Quite simply he was my guy.

Now, don't read this wrong, my Dad is still here.  Although, he did give us quite a scare this past weekend right to the point of my Mom saying goodbye to him.

The reason I talk of some of the things we did in the past tense is Alzheimer's has stolen him from me. It's brutal.  It turned my hero of a man into a small child. It's taken his ability to comprehend. Nowadays, you kinda live for the very rare moment of clarity.

This past Saturday I was getting ready to hit day #2 of Lake shake and I got the call I have been waiting for. "Get up here, Drive safe, but get here" Now, I'm with my folks most every weekend trying to help but this weekend it was time to stay home. This time it wasn't good.

As I drove north I thought wow this is it. He's gonna be gone. My ex-wife, who my dad loves, was on the phone with me. She's one of his favorites, at times I'm glad he can't remember because her being gone would break his heart. My Cheyenne was calling asking if she should go because she didn't want me to be lonely. All in all, we were ready to say goodbye. and to a person I think we were all good with it.

So, Saturday I get to Wausau, Wisconsin in about 3 hours and I get another call,  "Dad sat up in bed and said when can I go home" and really just like that he was back. It was surreal. I'm in my truck driving that 39-51 drive we have driven thousands of times ready to bring dad home and he fools us all.

US99.5 listeners were all over my FB post sending well wishes. I felt I needed to keep you updated. You couldn't have been nicer. This whole time you have treated me like a part of your family. I read all your messages. Simply put, you're family and the epitome of humble and kind.

I know  the time we have left is small and I'm OK knowing that!  We have had a good run. How many guys get to say they have done all this stuff with their Dad. I can and I have no regrets. I will keep you posted on this journey and pray that you never have to deal with this. But this is life and inevitably we will all go through this at some point.

Thanks for being there for me!



  1. When my dad got sick, I was there also, when I didnt have to work. My dad to taught me to fish, and go camping. And yes I drank my first beer with him. I lost my dad in 2004. To Congestive Heart Failure and Cancer. Their is not a day that goes by when I don't think of him. Prayers are with you and your family. You are the Best Theresa

  2. So glad to hear he is doing ok after your weekend scare! Was following along on Sat as well. Going thru the same with my dad presently and at 4.5 hrs away, not easy! Not easy to explain to my youngest that has autism either! Headed there again this weekend. Agreed Alzheimers sucks the big one! Know you and your family are thought of continually Ray!