Memories of Dale Ross by his good friend Lucy Mendro
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Dale loved to watch television. It was the most important thing in his life. He loved watching sports. He never missed a Toronto Raptors game and was thrilled last year when they won the NBA championship. He was also a big Blue Jays fan.
Dale watched a lot of movies. He loved action movies. They had to be 4K HD. I never seemed to buy him the right ones. After he would watch a movie, he would tell me the picture was okay but it wasn’t as good as 4K HD.
Ron and I took Dale to Creighton Furniture shopping for a new TV. He wanted the biggest and the best. Tom at Creighton Furniture told us Dale knew more about televisions, movie players and how they worked than anyone he knew. He had 6 speakers in his little living room. Watching TV with Dale in his living room was like being in a movie theatre.
Dale enjoyed all kinds of music. He listened to older country and classic rock and roll. At the care home he really enjoyed when people came to perform old time music for the residence.
Dale was like a little kid at Christmas. We would bring him over Christmas morning. He was excited to open his presents. Anything electronics had his attention and that’s all he would talk about. Presents from Dale always made us chuckle. All the boys got soap on a rope and old spice body wash. Kallia and I got matching top.
Part of Christmas with Dale was brunch. I made him all of his favorites. Waffles, whipping cream and strawberries and of course eggs benedict. He absolutely loved it. When it was time to go home, he got his fresh biscuits to take with him.
Dale was alone after his brother Ross passed away. We became his family. We took care of him. He was as important to us, as we were to him. I remember after Ross had passed away, Ronnie and I were at the house fixing something for Dale. Nick was watching TV with Dale. Dale had a habit of talking to himself most of the time. Nick comes into the kitchen and asks Is he talking to me, am I supposed to answer him. Even though Dale talked to himself, he could still hear and process any other conversation around him at the same time.
Dale coped in life by having specific routines. He went to the Coop for groceries on Tuesday and Fridays, no other day. He took exactly $800 out of his bank once a month. He only did laundry on Wednesday.
Dale said exactly what he thought. It didn’t matter what it was, or where he was, he said it. He had no filters.
In the last few years he became more dependent on me and my family. Dale became my 4th child.
Dale taught my children compassion, empathy and tolerance of people who were different. They all spent time with him, worried about him, and helped take care of him.
Kallia was his nurse at the hospital for over 4 months. She taught him to say please and thankyou to all staff. One evening during his stay, Kallia was going to prepare a bedtime snack for Dale. He said he wanted two pieces of plain toast with butter. Dale always restricted himself with his food preference, no sugar, and he would say nooo can’t have that, it has too much cholesterol. She persisted and told him he needed to live a little and enjoy something new. So she suggested trying peanut butter on only one piece of toast. Shockingly to say, every night to follow, Dale would only have two pieces of toast WITH peanut butter. She also learnt to have a lot of patience with Dale.
Dale called Phil the general. When I would have an issue with Dale, I would call Phil. After the two of then talked, Dale would changed his tune.
Dale was in the Flin Flon hospital for over 4 months. As we were leaving I asked him to say thank you to the staff. He says to the people at the nursing station Well Good Bye, I guess you did the best you could.
Good Bye Dale, you were our Rain Man. We will miss you and think of you often.