Selflessness, Valor, Unconditional Love, Service and Devotion are only a few words to describe them.
We need your help. I would like the opportunity to tell you a little bit about a family member of mine, James VanderHoff. He was a retired Naval Viet Nam era vet who passed away July 15, 2013. He lived the past several years with dementia and instead of placing him in a rest home, his wife of 42 years chose to care for him with compassion, love and care in the familiar surroundings of their home. James (Van) was the father of 5 children, and he also adopted 2 of his grandchildren. He had the kindest heart of anyone that I have ever known. While he was active duty in the navy he, at times, had 1 or 2 jobs on the side to support his family and give them a good life and to make it possible for his wife to be a stay at home mother. He was never too tired to make a huge bowl of popcorn, sit in the recliner with 2-3 kids in his lap and watch a movie, or read a bed time story or help with the kids baths. I have known many who could have learned some parenting skills from him. He was strong, soft spoken, loving and trustworthy. He wasn't afraid to be silly and sing and dance....I cannot find enough words to express what a wonderful man he was. He was a huge part of my life for 43 out of my 47 years of life. He opened his home and heart to me, and on many occasions I was an extended guest at his home, so I was kind of like another one of his kids. During my teenage years and having most of the usual teenage troubles, ok, well maybe more than the "usual" teenage troubles....he always opened his home, heart and arms to me. Later in years, when I went through a divorce I was, once again an extended guest in his home. He helped me through runny noses, skinned knees, and along with my own dad, he is a part of almost all of my happy childhood memories, going to the park, pool and Disney land, he was right there with me. Now his wife, my sister, raised a beautiful, loving family. She honored her vows and she "Truly" loved him until death (and beyond). He died at home with her, she desperately tried to revive him through cpr, but he was gone, in her arms. The dementia left him unable to communicate for the last couple years, but through his actions and facial expressions she always knew what he needed. She provided him with security, safety, comfort and unconditional love. She was his safe place. She walked with him, took him to the movies because it brought him joy. They would visit his favorite restaurant where the waitress' loved him. She spent many, many sleepless nights with him, she bathed and groomed him. She was completely selfless, not only to him, but her selfless nature was taken to a whole new level when she packed him up, traveled thousands of miles just to donate her own kidney to her brother who was slowly dying from kidney disease. When the dementia started he had to leave his job, losing his life insurance. I believe I am correct to say that they did have one other very small life insurance policy. Social security helps with a very small portion of the funeral. So my sister has to make payments/finance the rest of the funeral cost. Who wants to be reminded of this pain every month? They had some savings, but that was used several years back when their daughter in law unexpectedly passed away, and they just were not able to build it back up. I know that there are a lot of people in the world struggling and in need, we are no better than them. However, I am asking for help. He served his country and community, has done so many things for so many people. My sister has selflessly served her community, church and saved a life. She deserves to have the worry and burden of the loose ends and funeral costs taken off her shoulders as she is now left with the household income severely reduced. Thank you for taking the time to read this, may God bless you all.