Archive for Aging Posts

published in Aging, Caregiving, Change, Family, Fatherhood by Maryanne | June 13, 2017 | 6 Comments

A Few Laughs for Father’s Day – Funny Sayings from the Alex Pope Quote Collection


Carleton, Dad, MA

“These hot nights cause a lot of sweat and stickiness in my unventilated areas.”

– Alex Pope

In honour of Father’s Day, I thought I’d share with you some funny sayings of my Dad’s.

Over the past few years, when my Dad lived in the care home, whenever my younger brother, Carleton, heard him make a cute (or comically inappropriate) comment, he would jot it down. Not surprisingly, Carleton collected some real gems of “Dadisms” over the years.

Although my Dad had dementia, thankfully his sense of humour, spectacular vocabulary, exquisite grammar, extensive knowledge and astute observation skills still surfaced on occasion.

In life, my Dad wasn’t a Cheerful Charlie, easy-go-lucky, go-with-the-flow, positive kind of guy.

He was more like Spock from Star Trek: logical, intelligent, rational…with an encyclopedia for a mind. In the early days of dementia, his memory loss caused him to be extremely anxious – and understandably so. And yet his wry sense of humour and unrelenting candour still shone through – often with rather comedic results 😊

Here are a few Dadisms:

“Her name is Dr Besterd? I would have changed my name.”

“The girls are REALLY nice to me in here. Probably because there’s no competition. There are a lot of really ancient people in here. They’re like statues. They just lie in bed and don’t move. I feel like I’m in a mausoleum.”

“I’m not going to see Dr Besterd anymore? But she’s gorgeous! I’m going to have to have a heart attack.”

“It’s been a pretty pulchritudinous bunch of girls who’ve been taking care of me!”

“I’m fine for the moment but I’m a walking bundle of anxieties, large and small…but strokes of genius just come to me.”

While pointing finger into empty glass of red wine at Thanksgiving in care home: “Oh, wine steward……might I have a little more?”

“All these little demons are driving me around the bend…I’m getting to the point that I don’t want to do anything. I just want to worry about it, then go to sleep, and try not to wet the bed.”

“One of the great dangers around here is getting nailed by commentarists…certain types of talkers who get hold of you and hold on indefinitely. I’m deathly afraid of these clingers.”

 “This really is a nice walk…I just hope that I don’t pass out and die on you.”

On aging: “The almighty should have thought this all out better…he’s just created a lot of shit and trouble for everyone!”

“I would prefer to live with relatives, but I’d just be a nuisance…I’m an expert at complaining.”

To a caregiver: “Sorry, I just had my pants down and was powdering my behind.”

“It appears that I’m lost…but I’ve found the bar!”

“After 8 o’clock, this place is just like a tomb!”

On a picnic day trip: “This outhouse is only suitable for corpse disposal…it has this gaping maw that is waiting to swallow you whole.”

“I feel like there’s a big black sheet of rolling doom & gloom…with superficial flashes of humour that don’t last long.”

“When you push that plate towards me, my vomit reflex starts to churn.”

Farts while walking: “That was a dry one…but I think there’s a wet one coming.”

“I think I’m going to lose consciousness…should I do it here? Or somewhere else?”

“I’ve got enough misery of my own to be able to deal with other people’s follies.”

After man finishes saying grace, Dad immediately stands up and exclaims: “I feel kind of sick!”

“It’s true…we are temporary artifacts…sometimes temporary accidents.”

“I’ve dirtied a lot of diapers this way. Sorry…Pull-Ups!”

Have a fantastic Father’s Day!

I shall be raising a glass of red in memory of my Dadio 🙂 

Related Blogs by Maryanne

Tempus Fugit – Bahamas Reflections on my Dad

My Dad is Off on his Next Big Adventure

Pussies and Erection Day – Hard of Hearing Humour

When the Engine Light is Red

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

published in Aging, Death, Family, Fatherhood, Inspiration, Relationships by Maryanne | March 7, 2017 | 6 Comments

Tempus Fugit – Bahamas Reflections on My Dad


Alex Pope, June 1st, 1933 to Feb 27th, 2017

Tempus Fugit is Latin for “time flies.” It was one of my Dad’s favourite sayings. My Dad didn’t just quote Latin, he read it. The man was brilliant. He was a walking encyclopedia…our Grandpa Google 🙂

At least, up until a few years ago – when dementia slowed his mind and weakened his memory. But he still managed to surprise us all with some one-line zingers every now and then. And he remembered who all of his kids were.

When I visited him in the care home in Linden, AB, more often than not he would open his eyes and a give me a big smile. Sometimes he would even say, “Maryanne!”

Love this shot of Dad pushing ME in his wheelchair!

It was still HIM inside that old body and disintegrating brain.

But although he was comfortable, his quality of life wasn’t much to write home about. He slept most of the time. An avid reader all his life, he couldn’t read anymore…hadn’t been able to for a few years.

As much as I’ll miss him, it was definitely his time to go. And there is tremendous peace in that. His passing came as a relief – that brilliant and beautiful mind of his was free at last.

I am so thankful to have had the chance to say goodbye to him multiple times over the years. I knew every visit could be our last. So I always sang to him “our” song – the one he sang to me as a child: “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary.” Up until the last year, he would sing along 🙂

My Dad passed away peacefully on Feb 27th, surrounded by all my brothers and some of their spouses. I wasn’t there…at least not in body. But I was there in spirit.

Tippy’s Beach, Eleuthera, The Bahamas

And now, I am blessed to back in the Bahamas…a perfect place to reflect, think, write, rest, read, walk on the beach and swim in the sea.

The family I usually come to visit here – my Uncle Ted, who is my Dad’s youngest brother, and his wife, Sylvie – aren’t here this time, so it has definitely been more of a working trip than a vacation.

In fact, I’ve been writing up a storm here in this cozy little condo at Pineapple Fields in Eleuthera!

I’m back working on my book manuscript, Barrier Removed; a Tough Love Guide to Achieving Your Dreams. It is coming along swimmingly.

I am writing with clarity, focus and purpose. I know exactly what I have to do with this manuscript now – and I’m doing it.

It’s the darndest thing…for a guy who was so adamantly atheist, I swear my Dad is right here with me as I write, read, think and bask in the Bahamas beauty. But then again, I am my Father’s Daughter. To me, Heaven is a pile of good reading material, a beer, a beach and a story to write.

My Dad didn’t believe in Heaven, or any sort of afterlife for that matter – but if he could have designed a Heaven for himself, I reckon this would be pretty damn close.

Here in the Bahamas, I feel my Dad’s love…for me, for reading, for literature, for learning, for critical thought. But as relaxed and peaceful as I am here, I also feel a new sense of urgency about my writing.

MA on Tippy’s beach, Eleuthera

It’s so easy to slip into thinking we have all the time in the world to do what we need to do. But we don’t. Our time here is finite. The death of a loved one is a good reminder of our own mortality.

And as difficult as it was for us to watch our Dad deal with dementia, it is also perhaps a gift of sorts…a gentle reminder about the importance of making great memories – and to treasure the fact that we can remember. For the day may come when we can’t.

Tempus Fugit. Carpe Diem. Seize the Day, friends. For time is indeed flying by.

Me & my Dad, 2015 🙂

Related Blogs by Maryanne

And Away He Goes – My Dad is Off on His Next Great Adventure

The 82-Year-Old-Man Who Got in the Car and Went on an Adventure

When the Engine Light is Red

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.

published in Aging, Death, Family, Fatherhood, Gratitude, Inspiration by Maryanne | March 5, 2017 | 2 Comments

And Away He Goes…My Dad is Off On His Next Big Adventure


Dad at 82, ready for a road trip 🙂

On February 27th, 2017, my Dad, Alex Pope, passed away peacefully in Linden, AB. My little brother, Carleton, wrote this beautiful obituary for him:

In his 84th year, Alexander Carleton Pope left us for his next great adventure.

Loved and cared for by many, Dad was born to Douglas Pope and Helen Alexander on the family farm by Richmond-Melbourne, Quebec. He grew up in Montreal, and leaves behind his younger brothers Doug (Millie) and Ted (Sylvie).

Before Dad was a year old, he was taken to his grandparents’ country home, where a large fire was built to warm the brick house for the cherub’s arrival. The resulting chimney fire consumed the home, and so began a very interesting and capricious life.

After earning a Bachelor of Commerce at McGill in 1955 (taking five years instead of the usual four), his careers were in trust banking and commercial real estate. Although perhaps his favourite work was in retirement, when he took it upon himself to become a semi-professional bottle picker. Though not his most lucrative occupation, he was very fond of his “returnables,” and cycled far and wide in search of new treasure troves to recycle and redeem.

Alex was the proud father of Pat (Mary), Doug (Tracey), George (Donna), Maryanne (John), and Carleton (Valina). He was also a dedicated grandpa to Kylie (Colm), Melanie, Laura, Kimberly, and Emily, and a great-grandfather to Baby Liam! Further descendants are sure to follow.

Mary Harrison & Alex Pope, 1958

Dad first married Mary Harrison, who died in 2014, and then Elsie Los, who died in 1993. When his second wife passed away, he left his career to devotedly raise his youngest son and care for his own aging father. Through his retirement, he always made time to help his children with their projects and businesses; not to mention helping his grandchildren with their homework!

Alex’s two greatest passions were learning and libations, which were more often than not enjoyed together. Dad was a true academic and a critical thinker, and loved nothing more than reading abstract books and pondering the nature of ultimate reality.

Dad also loved literature, and this encouraged him to return to McGill in his ‘60s where he earned another degree, this time in English Literature. He enjoyed writing unique short-stories for several years thereafter.

Sadly, with the onset of dementia in his late ‘70s, he lost the ability to enjoy these passions, which he found genuinely vexing.

As his illness progressed, Dad received a lot of help and consideration from everyone at the Golden Hills Lodge in Three Hills. Dad then moved to the Westview Care Community in Linden, where he received exceptional kindness and attention these last three years. All of his caregivers were very much a new family for him, and he became affectionately known as “Papa.” We are all extremely grateful.

While not his alma mater, Dad was accepted for a third and final time to university, as he donated his body to medical science at the University of Calgary. In accordance with his wishes, there will be: “Absolutely no funeral!”

Thanks for everything Dad! We will all miss you very much.

Love this selfie of me & my Dadio taken in 2015

Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is the CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here.