Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dad, Past and Present.

I went over to visit Dad today. It's cold and rainy and dark here, so when I got to his room and saw him stretched out on his lounge chair under a blanket, I thought to myself, "That looks like a great place to be!"  He looked so comfortable, I thought he was asleep, but as I crouched down to look in his face, he opened his eyes and really looked at me, and then smiled.  I've said here before that I'm really not sure he knows who I am, and I'm still not sure, but today his eyes were so clear, faded blue, smiling as he saw me smiling at him.  It was nice to feel like he knew who he was looking at.

I've been thinking lately about how Dad is now - sleepy, sedentary, disliking to walk too much -  and how he was six or seven years ago when he still lived at home and I lived with him.  Then, he had almost too much energy, and his aide, Del, and I had to wear him out as much as possible!  I remember our rambles fondly, now, though.  We took long walks around Green Lake here in Seattle, and along Lake Washington, watching the ducks and the sailboats.  Every day I was with him was a walking day if the weather was decent.

We had other adventures, though, that I remember.  Dad loved to go grocery shopping and test out the carts.  One of our favorite things to do was go through the car wash with its multi-colored soap and big brushes.  I took him rollerblading a couple of times, which was, to say the least, interesting.  And we always went somewhere for lunch; somewhere we could get a Coke and a salad or fish and chips, nothing fancy but out in the world.  The thing was that Dad always seemed to enjoy himself wherever he was, which took me a while to get used to since that's not how he was when I was growing up.  I learned to enjoy the new Dad, though, and we had fun together.

Now, as I sit with Dad and the rain falls outside, and he dreams, perhaps of skiing down a mountain or flying through the clouds, I kind of miss these little ventures out into the world.  None of these things were really all that special, and I know at the time that I sometimes got tired and bored and at my wit's end., but they are things that we can no longer do together, and as such, they seem special. 

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