Edit ModuleShow Tags

Amazing Grace


Published:

(page 1 of 3)

My father, Ragon Flannery, died in my arms in a San Diego hospital bed. He left behind a body beaten, broken and bruised from a decade-long battle with Alzheimer’s. He also left a legacy that’s been handed down to a family that loved and cared for him until he took his final breath.

“The Rev,” as so many of his church members and friends called him, was born a Kentucky hillbilly and raised on discipline, compassion and bluegrass music. His mother played banjo. His sister dated Bill Monroe. It doesn’t get more bluegrass than that. He also was raised on love and was taught to treat others with dignity and grace—be it the man in a $600 suit or the homeless man looking for a handout. He ministered at churches all over the country, but Anaheim is where we spent 20 years, and where I grew up.

I could talk at length about the last few years of his life. The changes that started taking place that we all noticed—and he noticed for a time, too. I could tell the stories of his last grueling year, stories only caregivers can understand, or believe. It was a year during which we watched helplessly as he slipped deeper and deeper into the black hole of Alzheimer’s. Finally, surrendering, we placed my father in a home for Alzheimer’s patients, a place where professionals could try their best to help him.

Instead of telling you about the horrors of the disease, I want to tell you about the miracles. Sure, 1999 became the hardest year of my life. I cried plenty. But in the middle of all the madness, there were incredible lessons and unbelievable gifts.

Spending the final days of my father’s life with him, I learned what it was like to change his diaper, to hold him up as we took baby steps, to bathe him. I gave back to him those gifts he had given me, and in doing this I felt the power of the circle of life. It would change my views forever about life and about death.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Two Local Sailors Get over a Crash in Order to Compete in Rio

Coronado's Paris Henken and her partner, Helena Scutt, set sail toward the Olympics

Will Surfing (Finally) Make It into the Olympics?

After 22 years, the sport might secure its place in the 2020 games in Tokyo

Who Needs a Tutor in First Grade?

What happens when Common Core gets in the way of learning
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. San Diego's Best Restaurants 2016
    From barbecue to vegan options, there’s a bit of manna for everyone in this year’s list of the city’s best
  2. What's It Like to Be the CEO of the Smartest Company in the World?
    We went to Illumina’s headquarters to find out
  3. The 12 Most Important People in Design Right Now
    See what they’re up to and working on in San Diego
  4. 54 Summer Travel Ideas
    Get out of town!
  5. Making a MasterChef
    MasterChef winner Claudia Sandoval on the life-changing ups and downs
  6. Win 1,000 Cash Back on Your Solar Install and 500 Cash
    Brought to you by Sullivan Solar Power
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

More Than 1,300 Prizes are Ready to be Given Away

What are you waiting for? Buy your raffle ticket now

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Win 1,000 Cash Back on Your Solar Install and 500 Cash

Brought to you by Sullivan Solar Power

Win 2 tickets to Kenny Chesney at Sleep Train Ampitheatre!

Brought to you by Corona Light and Kenny Chesney

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags