Friday, November 29, 2013
The first time I went to see Dad after we returned from our trip, it was comforting to see everything was the same as I walked in the front door of his AFH. There was Dad in his recliner chair, muffled up with a blanket, head resting on a pillow, snoozing. I don’t know if I really thought there would be anything different, any change in him after being three weeks and half a world away, but there really wasn’t, except for one small thing. He seems a little more alert, which I enjoy but still find surprising.
In fact, before I left, I was starting to see signs of this surprising awareness and alertness. He had even almost smiled at me during the last few visits. If he’s snoozing, I really just like to let him do it while I sit there next to him, quietly just being with him. As I’ve said before, I think the caregivers think I’m a little odd because I don’t really want to talk to Dad, or care if he talks to me. But, given evidence of this awakeness, I feel like I have to do something about it. Give him something to do, as it were. So I’ve been reading aloud to him a lot more.
On this visit, I picked up the Bible that is in his room and started reading out various Psalms, starting with the 23rd, which is really the only one I’m familiar with, and let’s face it, is everyone’s favorite. I’ve looked through the rest of the Psalms to find good ones to read and I have to admit it can be difficult since many of them are pretty violent! I try to make sure that Dad only gets positive input, so I try to skip over the stanzas that deal with the death of David’s enemies, etc. I also turned to the story of Joseph and his brothers, which is another one I think Dad would be familiar with, and by the time I left had gotten through half of the story.
The Bible is one of those modern translations that sounds like today’s English, which I find a little annoying. I figure that I should read what he’s most likely to recognize so I think I’m going to have to find a trusty King James’ Version, which Dad and I are much more familiar with. I hope he’s enjoying himself and that some part of his brain recognizes words that he read over and over in his life. I don’t know how long this alert period will last, but I’m going to try to take advantage of it for as long as it does. I hope these words give him some comfort. What gives me comfort is looking up from reading to find his eyes on me, intent, and to feel that he might feel some sort of connection to me.
I’m really glad I’ve been spending more time with him lately. I am almost 100% certain he no longer knows who I am (and good heavens, but I’ll be happy when people never ask me that question again!), which is just part of the deal. I do think that since I’ve been visiting more often, he recognizes elements of my face, even though there is no real connection to who I am or how I am related to him. So its nice to see just a little bit of recognition when his eyes meet mine and I smile at him and get a little smile in return. And who really knows? Perhaps he knows exactly who am I and he’s just keeping it to himself.
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