Ralph A. Moehrke

On November 10, 2021, very early in the morning my father, Ralph A. Moehrke passed away in his room in the nursing home where he didn’t really like to be. There was a CNA with him because he had asked for help getting to the bathroom. My youngest sister who lives locally was called, and she called my brother who had just arrived for a visit with our Dad from Seattle. The two of them went to the nursing home right away. A few hours later as daylight broke they started making calls to let the rest of us know our Dad was gone.

I was close to my mother but my Dad and I were closer. Not always but in the most important ways. I had honestly prayed for relief for him. He was 92 and was wasting away. He had been hospitalized with Covid19 in December 2020 and had been transferred to rehab then to the nursing home, just blocks from his home, the house where we were raised. His sense of taste never fully returned and without my mother to cook for him and goad him into eating he started losing weight. A shocking amount of weight seemingly dropped off him and was very apparent to those of us who didn’t see him much. Eating became a chore for him I think and we all tried to tempt him with favorites.

Dad’s death certificate says he died of a heart attack. I blame Covid19. He never really recovered and had lasting effects. I try hard not to blame the person who exposed him to the virus when they entered his home without a mask. Dad was careful. When I went through his endless pocket packets-the notes he kept close to wherever he sat-many had Covid19 info copied in his familiar handwriting. We can’t know for sure what the exposure was. And really, Dad wanted to be with our mother. He said he was ready.

Was I ready for Dad to be gone? To get that call in that early morning hour? No. No I was not. It’s been a year now and tears still grab me hard and fast as I remember moments and regrets. It turns out that the stories I thought I was tired of are what I wish for, long for. My Dad knew everything as many dads do and I wish I could call him one more time or turn back time and just plain call him more often to listen to his stories, ask him questions, and let him know again how much I love him.

Robin with her Dad, Ralph A. Moehrke. Photo by Kate Travis, May 2021.

Blog Bottom Advice (I should have taken): Call home, call often. It’s not about me, it’s about the ones we love.

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To blog or not to blog? That is the question for me.

It’s been so long since I’ve added anything here at Robin in V-a (Va = Virginia, the commonwealth of) WordPress changed everything. Probably more than once. So we’ll see how this posting goes, if I can figure things out.

Anyway, I’ve also had a few messages from “people” who want to write for me for pay, or guest post, or whatever. No. No thank you. I guess there is a trend to collab as they say, with another blogger who might be like-minded, or not, but I don’t even really know anyone’s work well enough lately to consider that option. Who does? And especially not complete strangers I don’t recognize. I think they are fake.

Is it writers block when nothing makes sense to write about? I have a list of things I should write about but I haven’t been ready. Which is odd since I must feel a little okay if I post on Facebook, right? For instance, my Dad passed away last November. We had his memorial service in May. There are things I need to write, and will, eventually. I’m coming to realize part of the process of making sense, is to write!

The fact is one of the biggest reasons I haven’t written much is my eyesight. I’ve had cataracts and know now my eyes have probably been affected for several years. I started the process to have them taken care of last November. The process was complete last Monday. I can see! But much has been discovered as a result and I’ll save that on my list of things to write about.

Whether it’s writers block, laziness, distractions of all sorts, I’m asking myself whether it’s worth keeping this little blog here on the interwebs. For now I’m saying yes. For now I’ll work on getting back into the habit of writing right after I figure out the mechanics of posting again. Maybe I’ll be inspired to upgrade a few things. Sometimes a makeover is needed. I’m getting some inspiration from people I follow on Instagram where I post a bit (but don’t have Instagram quite figured out either), so if you wonder about a more pictorial diary of what I’m doing, check me out there.

End of August 2022 Garden Check-in: A pic of my garden shed with a twirly rainbow whirlygig on the end of a flagpole sets to the left in the photo. Next to it a row of elderberry bushes has been picked clean of their berries. Two long raised beds are tumbling over with green beans bushes and tomato plants. Their stakes are topped with little clay pots for safety and cuteness. In the forefront of the pic is a planter with Swiss Chard standing at attention. A blue sky with wispy clouds is overhead. A green lawn with a background of trees is beyond the back fence. Photo: Robin M Arnold.

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