Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Time II.

Sorry for the length of time between posts-I've been out of town for the last week and a half. Thanks for continuing to check in!

It seems to be summer again, thank goodness. It's funny how summer when you are young seems like an endless golden moment where you were the happiest, and nothing but good things happen, and the sun was always shining and hot. You can never get back to that wonderful time.

I had great summers when I was little. We had lake front property and I spent every day with my sister swimming in the cool water. When Dad got home from work, he would shed his work suit and pad down to the lake in his shorts, thongs, and a towel. One of my best memories is of him ducking underneath the water and letting me climb up onto his shoulders as he crouched down, then standing up quickly with me on his shoulders so I could then dive off. I loved that. Dad loved the lake, and even after his dementia was becoming worse and worse he would spend hours at the water, watching the ducks and staring at the horizon.

Summer was when we took three week long family vacations in our camper, crossing the country some years; other years going down to California and the beach and Disneyland. If you've read the book, you'll know about the summers we spent in the mid-West, looking at airplanes; again, something that involved my Dad in a vital way.

Summer also has bad memories for me. It was summer when I got sick for the very first time, and the second time, as well. And it was August when my mother died, taking her last breath late one sweltering night as we crouched around her. I've had other friends die in the summer, too, more than any other season. Something about summer means hardship for me, although it's still one of my favorite times of year.

When I have gone to visit Dad this summer, I can't help but think each time about all those other summers I remember him in. Strong, swimming for miles, driving the camper, making us walk until our feet fell off. And now I see him, sitting quietly and guardedly in a button-down shirt and sweat pants, something he never, ever wore in his life, but a garment that is easy for the caregivers. I don't know if he even differentiates between the seasons anymore and summer, a season that he once loved and looked forward to, is now just another day in the succession of days he endures. And all I can do is remember for him.


  1. Summer is really great season. A lot of things happen, good or bad More than every other season. I like summer because the good things that happen. Move Out Cleaning.

  2. This post spoke to me because visiting my mom the other day I realized that she didn't know what the weather was like. It was sweltering hot and she has been outside to the patio area with plants and picnic tables but I could tell she didn't have a clue about the season. What is it like for them?? You are right. We remember for them. Thanks for your blog.

  3. Thanks, Donna, just listed your blog on my site!