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

22 Reasons Why San Diego Is Better Than LA

Here's how our city kicks the City of Angels' sorry (surgically enhanced) butt

San Diego's Best Neighborhoods 2017

Hot neighborhoods, easy commutes, new parks, and more for 2017

103 Dishes to Eat in San Diego before You Die

Here's Made, our little black book of San Diego's best food
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 103 Dishes to Eat in San Diego before You Die
    Here's Made, our little black book of San Diego's best food
  2. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies and attractions
  3. Why Restaurants Are Adding a Surcharge, and Why Diners Should Gladly Pay It
    Restaurateurs are finding ways to deal with the challenges of the minimum wage hike
  4. The Dog Lover's Guide to San Diego
    Here are 52 ways to experience San Diego with your four-legged friend
  5. 67 San Diego Holiday Traditions You Don't Want to Miss
    'Tis the season for fa-la-la fun in San Diego
  6. Meet the Founders of the New Officine Buona Forchetta
    Native Italians Matteo Cattaneo and Mario Cassineri talk recipes, family-friendly dining, and the virtues of good bread
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.

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

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags