Saturday, April 17, 2010

My Dear Old Dad

I saw my father yesterday. It's been a while and I felt the need to check him out. You see, he has Alzheimer's and has been in a nursing facility for almost 3 years now. Seeing my Dad isn't the hard part; although, it is difficult. It's getting to his room that's causes discomfort for me. Passing the elderly in their various states of degeneration is hard. It makes me sad because their demise could be mine...or yours.

I walked into my father's room and there he was slumped in his chair dozing. The handsome, robust man is no more. Yes, I see the vestiges of who he used to be...but the operative words are "used to be." I brought him his favorite soft baked cookies but he wasn't interested. Did he know that it was me - his daughter? I doubt it. He looked at me and I gave him my best smile and said "Hi Daddy. It's me. Robin." There was a glimmer of recognition but then it faded away as fast as drops of water on a hot skillet.

The nursing staff brought in his lunch and I fed my father. I placed the spoon in the mashed potatoes, made sure they weren't too hot. I placed the spoon to his lips and he chewed. That made me feel really good.

I sat with him for about an hour and a half. I listened to him hum. I talked to the nurses about his right hand that's bothering him due to arthritis. Then I kissed his forehead and told him that I loved him and would see him again soon. And I will.

If you have your father or your mother, please acknowledge them and tell them that you love them. Yeah, they might get on your nerves. What parent doesn't at some point? But if they are still alive you are very blessed. And be grateful for that.

Take it easy.

Peace and hair grease.

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