Thursday, July 22, 2010

Vacation - The Last Day

Yesterday, we walked into the rehab facility where my father lives in the western suburbs of Chicago and watched his face light up. Two weeks ago, I told him that we would be visiting. Still, he was surprised. That is not all that unusual. His memory is not very good anymore. We spent several hours with him. He saw the Boss and the children for the first time since December. We laughed and joked and enjoyed one another’s company. He knew who I was and he knew the Boss, but he had to ask the names and ages of the children several times. When we left later in the evening it was with a promise to return the following day and visit again.


Today, we walked into the rehab facility where my father lives in the western suburbs of Chicago and watched his face light up. Yesterday, I told him that we would be visiting today. Still, he was surprised. That was unusual. He told me that he knew someone had visited the previous day, but he didn’t know who it was. His memory didn’t last one day. He knew who I was and he knew the Boss, but he had to ask the names and ages of the children several times. I told him when we arrived that my mom would not be able to visit him tonight because she had opera rehearsal. An hour later he asked me to dial his phone for him to call my mom. When he spoke with her he asked her whether or not he’d see her tonight. He understood when she explained that she had to attend opera rehearsal, but then he fretted that he had no money and no way to feed “the folks who are visiting.”

God love him. His heart was in the right place. His mind was in Pennsylvania.

Our visit today was shorter than yesterday’s visit. We can only keep two young children occupied in a nursing home for so long. He was disappointed to see us go, but the truth is that tomorrow he most likely will not remember today’s visit. He had no recollection of my two day visit in May, and the fact that I had visited with him five times in 11 months was a complete mystery. His memory problems are just another stage of life.

I look at my father with the same love that I always have. He’s my dad. I’m grateful to be able to see him. I don’t know when I will see him again. He turns 75 in September, so I suspect that it will be sooner than later.

Tomorrow, we have the long drive back to Kansas. I’m looking forward to arriving at home.

4 comments:

Oklahoma Granny said...

My heart goes out to folks who are gradually losing their memory. It just breaks my heart.

Brownie said...

Its hard when we see our parents aging.

Linda said...

When my mother's best friend starting losing her memory, they made a trip to the nearest city because Ronald Reagan was going to be passing through. They stood on the side of the road with many onlookers and watched the motorcade go by, waving. My mother looked at her friend and asked, wasn't that exciting? Her friend, replied, "yep; too bad I won't remember it tomorrow."
I almost think, that at some point, forgetting makes things easier. It makes it easier to take one day at a time, with no regrets.

The_Kid said...

Here's to getting home safe.

All the best to your Dad.