My Dad, John W. Crocker, Sr.


In April of 1998, days after having open-heart surgery, my dad suffered a major stroke. For weeks we didn't know if he would live or die. He was in Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas for the surgery, and several times I had to rush to the hospital when his doctor would call and say he didn't think he would make it through the night. But, he always did! My dad was a very independent and strong-willed man, and he had decided to live!


He remained in the hospital for approximately six weeks, all the while coming in and out of consciousness. Insurance would only allow him to stay a certain amount of time; then it was time to find permanent housing for him. He couldn't care for himself, so a decision had to be made. I work full-time, so the only alternative was to find a nursing home for him. I chose one where I lived, in Lufkin, Texas. It was a huge mistake! I knew nothing about nursing homes, and I picked a very bad one. It took a couple of months to realize this and move him. The second nursing home was Lufkin Nursing Center, and they were fantastic! My dad liked everyone there, and seemed to enjoy himself - as much as could be expected. I would highly recommend this facility for anyone facing this unpleasant decision.


In May of 1999 I was laid off at my job. It appeared as though I might have to move to Dallas temporarily. I didn't want my dad in Lufkin by himself - his relatives all lived in the San Augustine-Pineland area. I decided to move him to a nursing home in San Augustine, Texas, Twin Lakes Care Center. It is approximately an hour from Lufkin, Texas. Almost immediately I realized I should have placed him here a long time before! It was privately owned, unlike the places in Lufkin. My dad was born in San Augustine County, so he knew a lot of the people at the home, including the owners! There was even a man there that my dad had went to high school with. What a coincidence! The people stopping by to see their families, knew him as well. By this time he was scooting around quite nicely in his wheelchair! He was almost always outside on the front porch of the home, welcoming people.


He was still unable to talk, but I know his dream was to one day go home. He never got that chance. On December 17, 1999, my dad passed away. He was buried next to my mom, who had died several years earlier from cancer. It was a learning experience for me. I had never had to place a loved one in a nursing home, or get Medicaid started for him, or get someone's affairs in order before. I wish I had known there were resources on the Internet that could have helped me. That would have been a tremendous help.


So, I am starting a section of this page that has links to several online resources for people that are in the same situation I was, and don't know where to start. Also, feel free to email me and ask any questions you may have. I will be more than glad to answer what I can, or refer you to someone who can. It is a long, uphill battle, but it is worth it when you look back and know you did everything you could for your loved one.

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In Closing

I loved my dad very much, and wish he was still alive. A day doesn't go by that I don't think of something I wish I had told him while he was here.

My dad was also a Mason. He was very proud to be a Mason as he would have told you.