All my father wanted was to go back to his home, located a mere fifty yards from the nursing home where he was required to stay! A small request from a dying man, and I, as his physician daughter, thought I should be able to do something to help make it happen.
I called on our family physician. Our family had been Dr Cannon’s first patients after his completion of training. He had known me since high school and had followed my career through college, med school and primary care practice with interest.
“Dr Cannon, is there some way we can bring Dad home? I’m sure we can arrange to have private duty nursing come to the house. Mom won’t have to lift a finger. We can make this work.”
Dr Cannon shook his head. “It’s just too much stress on your mother.”
Inwardly, I had to agree. Dad’s temper in recent years had given Mom a case of hypertension that several blood pressure medications barely controlled. So I asked again, “Why don’t you just tell Dad that he’s going to have to stay in the nursing home? Aren’t you kind of leading him on with your ‘let’s see’ attitude?”
And Dr Cannon replied, “The Jesuits at Fairfield taught me that taking away the hope of another man is the greatest sin you can commit.”
Derry, New Hampshire