Skip to content

I’ve been absent for the past 8 weeks because…


I was hoping to have time for my blog this spring. Life can be unpredictable. My father passed away in hospice this week from Alzheimer’s. He passed away in a very peaceful place. It was crazy the past 8 weeks when we placed him in memory care due to all his falls, wandering and agitation. We were unable to care for him at home anymore.

My heart goes out to anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s in their family. It is a horrible illness. His last few days this week were spent peacefully resting in the Clarissa Cook House in Bettendorf, Iowa. ( read more here)

Image result for Clarissa cook hospice house bettendorf, Iowa

This is a beautiful place to pass on in comfort when you can’t take care of your loved one in those final days. My Dad passed peacefully near a pond with running water, frogs, and birds singing to him all day. The hearing is the last thing to go when we start the dying process.  This place is for everyone in the community. I can’t say enough about the beauty surrounding it and light-filled rooms.

Image result for clarissa cook pond

I planted a mulberry tree and two native hazelnuts this week for my Dad. He loved nature and I got my love for nature from my father. He gave me one of the best gifts in life!

I will be back to share my garden after this week. I am playing catch-up. I am far behind, and I know that being in my garden will give me the comfort that I need right now for I would be lost without my garden.

I hope you all have a beautiful Mother’s Day. Cherish the moments you have with family they pass too quickly… I am going over to spend Mother’s Day with my mom today. It is a hard week for her since she misses her best friend that she spent 60 plus years with each day of her life.

Happy Spring and Happy Gardening!





33 replies »

  1. Hi Robbie. My thoughts are with you and your mother today. It sounds as though your father had the love and comfort of his family in his last weeks and days, and the facility you chose looks to be lovely. Best, Babsje

    • thank you for your thoughts:-) I think of you everytime I see a blue heron on the river. Just the other day, I saw several flying. I played his music for him and the doors opened to the frogs, birds and watering moving gave him peace. He loved nature as much as us and I hope someday to be near nature when I pass:-) For you it would be in your canoe:-)

  2. I am sorry for your loss Robbie but happy to hear that your father passed away peacefully and in such a beautiful place. I know the travails of this disease as I have a family member suffering it for over six years now. All he was is gone from us, but his body lives on. It is indeed a cruel disease! I have missed seeing your beautiful garden and will be looking forward to more posts from you when you are ready. xoxo

    • My heart goes out to you going through this now..they do disappear. They say it is a long goodbye. He enjoyed being outside but the last weeks he forgot how to walk. I never knew their mind would forget how to walk….an awful disease. I am back in the garden, it heals me all the time!

  3. Robbie, I am so sorry to hear of the passing of your father, but the hospice looks like a lovely place. Alzheimers is a tough disease, particularly in the later stages. You are in my thoughts and I know you will find some peace you need in your beautiful garden. Take time to cherish the memories of you and your Dad.

    • ty:-) I never knew what people went through until now. I will be there for those that ever have to face this with a family member:-) gardens are such a comfort!

  4. My heart goes out to you. Yes, the garden will bring comfort, but sometimes, you just have to sit with everything you feel and let it take its time. Take care.

  5. So sorry to learn of your loss, Robbie. Such a hard end and it must have taken a great toll on your family. The hospice looks and sounds like it was a good experience. I’m glad such places exist to assist us.
    Yes, our gardens help us heal and thankfully the season is in full swing so you can immerse yourself in its warm embrace. Hugs to you. ❤

    • ( ) hugs to you too Eliza!!! It is in full swing and I can’t wait for the berries and nuts to eat in a few years:-)

  6. Oh I do understand what you mean. He is now at peace. They suffer so much with this disease! I am taking time this next week to find pictures of my Dad that were from before he got alzheimers. My heart goes out to you and I am sending a big cyber hug ( )!!! Thank goodness we have our gardens and I know they will be out there by our side:-)

  7. Dear Robbie, What a sad time for you and your mother, and your family. Yet, how lovely that you found such peaceful surroundings for your Dad to spend his final days. I am still mourning the loss of my father in January, so do take your time, in your garden, or wherever you need to be, to honour the journey you have been on. Love and hugs.

    • My heart aches for you. Your Dad has not been gone that long. The week they pass seems to go on forever. We had his Celebration of Life on Saturday. I am heading into the garden. Birds are singing and bees are buzzing and I know I will feel peace in my garden:-)Our gardens will help us heal:-) I have more work to do in this world but this work was done. He is at peace. Hugs to you too ( ) cyber hugs!

  8. Oh, I am so sorry Robbie! My Dad gave me the tulip tree out back and I will be leaving it soon – perhaps I can get something new for the lake. He is thankfully still here for me but has had some health issues as has my Mom. I visited with them on my way back to the North. I will stop in again soon – they are pretty close here. I know the garden will help your heart and soul more than any words can. Peace and blessings.

    • How neat he gave you your tulip tree. I have some rocks from my Dad’s property I brought back a few years ago when they moved. I have them around my fountain. You are so right the garden lifts my heart and fills my soul. I was out there all day. I planted two paw paw trees and hope they take off, but we shall see:-) I am shading them with my vine growing vegetables. Fingers crossed-hope to attract their host swallow tail!

  9. Oh, I’m so sad for your father. I wish they will be RIP with GOD blessings till the doomsday.
    Father is a great gift for us he takes care our till we stand on feet. And after that, he prays for us but we neglect all the things and always be busy in our life’s. And this is a bitter truth of most peoples on the earth…
    😦 😦

    • You are so right :-)we need to spend time with the people we love. We all are getting too busy and not paying attention to our elders. I am grateful I had the time with my Father as he walked his last steps. I know he is in heaven and playing his music which he loved to do every day here on earth:-)

  10. Robbie, thank you for sharing this news here. I am glad he had a peaceful time at the end with the nature he loved. And I’m glad you have your garden for solace. I send you and your garden gentle sunshine during this new season in your lives. ❤

    • You are too kind! Texas sunshine-that is special:-) Today I planted tomatoes in my mother’s garden. My father used to do that for her so I decided to plant them to help her with the changes in her life 🙂 It felt good to plant his tomatoes:-)

      • Oh, wow. I bet that felt good in lots of ways.
        My grandfather is in hospice now with lung cancer and dementia. My grandma is able to stay there with him. I hope it’s as lovely as the place you’ve spoken of here. He liked to listen to the wrens out the window at home.

      • Oh my heart breaks for you:-( My kids took it pretty tough for my Father was their first grandparent to pass that they knew well. He took them hiking and for long walks in the woods. They ate mulberries along the way. My brother’s son had a hard time too for he just had his first child 4 weeks before he passed. It was very hard for him. After seeing my Dad pass at such a lovely place I really am not scared anymore of death. It is not easy but if you are blessed to pass at home near family or in a beautiful hospice house with nature all around it can be very peaceful. Not a cold hospital bed!

      • I’m grateful for the memories I have of him. My kids won’t likely remember him, but there are pictures from two Thanksgivings to help us keep the stories alive. He and my grandma will be celebrating their 75th anniversary this summer if it comes to that. I worry for her, losing her best friend. They still lived at home until this recent turn, and most of her friends have gone. They’re 800 miles away from us, but my husband and I have talked and plan to offer for her to move here with us. I hope she’ll know were serious, but I doubt she’ll move this far.
        Your mom is lucky to have you, both because you sound like you’re nearby, but also because you’re you.

      • I have been working the past few days in the garden. I apologize for my late response. WOW! 75 yrs. That is amazing:-) You are truly blessed to have such wonderful memories of your grandparents. It would be wonderful if she were to move near you for she would enrich your young kids life. We all live so far away from one another these days. I never knew my grandparents but my kids did and to listen to each of them talk at my dad’s “celebration of life” it made my mother feel so good inside. She was at peace too. She had no idea the grand kids cared so deeply and enjoyed all the times they spent together. My fingers are crossed she might consider. I am enjoying my 4 yr old grandson that lives around the corner. My daughter may move someday for her job but for now, I am enjoying my grandson the times we spend in the garden!

      • My daughter is four and is such a joy in the garden. She tells me she is my best caterpillar hunter (she is) and she takes special care of her purple flowers and the popcorn 🙂

      • That is amazing! You are doing a great job in raising another generation of gardeners. We all need to garden with our children:-)

      • If you have discovered any magic phrases to teach a sweet two year old not to pick every flower he sees for his mama so the bees have some food, I’m all ears 😀

%d bloggers like this: