We walked in with our gifts (knowing we could not leave them with Dad, and would have to take them back home) basically holding our breath. We were relieved when the nurse told us Dad was doing well, he had a shower, ate breakfast and took his medication.
When we walked into the lunchroom, he was just finishing up his lunch. He was dressed in his own tan pants, his blue sweatshirt and blue shirt. Blue is Dad's favorite color. He looked so smooth shaven, happy and bright! He was alert and over joyed to see us.
We all gathered in his room, and ironically, his roommate was watching TV in the day room, so we had all the privacy we hoped for. Dad told us he had a shower and how awesome it was. He even got a massage afterward! It was so good to see him so animated and excited. We took turns taking pictures with Dad. My sister had her Flip video recorder going as Dad opened my sister's card and read it. Just as Dad finished, our two youngest brothers walked in. More pictures with Dad and more video. Then in came two of Mom and Dad's friends from church!
As we all circled ourselves around Dad and he thanked everyone for coming. He then asked each of us to share our happiest childhood memory. He asked us to remember those precious moments where we laughed so hard we cried. We each took a turn relating our cherished memories, laughing and bringing up some great times. We all marveled at how well Dad held a conversation and shared thoughts and memories with us. We were all captivated as he shared dramatic memories of World War II, and the Battle of Tarawa.
One particular memory brought tears to our eyes, when Dad's friend from church shared a story Dad had told him the day before. He told us how Dad had described the day he met Mom. Dad and his buddy were on a weekend liberty and they met two girls on a hill in downtown Seattle. Dad told him one of the girls had the most beautiful face he had ever seen, and that was Mom. He still could repeat the phone number she gave him, Grant 4404, sixty-three and a half years ago.
It was also Mom's 82nd birthday. She and I had discussed what a challenge it would be to enjoy her day, but after our visit, we all felt uplifted and so very relieved. As our brothers waved good-bye to Mom, my sister and I, we all remarked on how good we all felt. We had a great lunch and then enjoyed the movie, The Proposal.
Tomorrow, God willing, Dad will be discharged and transfered to the new place. My plan is to ride with Dad, if they will allow it. Everyone please pray it goes well and the move will not be too stressful for him.
We went baring gifts, but the greatest gift of all, was what Dad gave to all of us. What a memorable, glorious day.