While waiting for my eyes to "re-focus" from having them dilated earlier, my youngest brother called me. He had just finished his visit with Dad and was on his way home. He took two McDonald's Fish Fillet sandwiches, fries and two chocolate shakes for he and Dad to enjoy together.
He said he looked all over for Dad; in the Rec room, the Rehab room, his room, the bathroom, the hallway, and no Dad. He walked out to the patio to find Dad, without his wheel chair, dressed in pajama bottoms, tee-shirt with those black Nike Air Jordan's (none of us know where he got them) trying to fix the net on a child's sized basketball hoop.
My brother got a good chuckle, because it is so typical of Dad. We never knew what he would pull out of his hat next... Just when we get used to him using a wheel chair, he rises back up and shows the strong will we love so much in him. My brother was happy to get a full body hug, since Dad is usually sitting in his wheel chair or bed.
Dad gave him a huge, big, smile when he saw the lunch my brother brought for them to share. Dad may have been eating McDonald's fish fillet, but he was telling his son how good his In and Out burger was.
Dad talked a lot about magnets and it being high noon. Dad was discussing marriage and told my brother, he had enjoyed my brother's wedding. My brother corrected him, and told Dad, "not yet", but brought up Dad's grandson's recent wedding and that brought up happy times for Dad. It was the last family outing we had all had together before Dad went into the hospital in early June.
Briefly Dad mentioned the Lord is good and dangerous, and lovingly, his son re-directed him to remember that God is always good. He took Dad back over to the basketball hoop and showed Dad how to fix the net. He said if they had a ball, he really felt Dad was ready to play a game against Michael Jordon!
It was warm outside, so my brother linked arms with Dad and walked him back to his room. When he turned on the TV for Dad, Dad started warning him of the TV being dangerous, so he turned it off. Dad had more to say about magnets, high noon, board games and marriage.
My brother asked Dad if they could say a prayer together. That seemed to really calm Dad down as they joined hands and prayed. He asked Dad for a "whisker rub" and Dad got wide-eyed, and looking very alert, said, "Whisky??" Again, my brother had another good laugh, but came closer and showed Dad his intended whisker rub. Dad laughed, hugged him back and held him close, rubbing his back.
Dad warned his son about it being high noon and the importance of magnets. He told Dad how much he loved him, that it was time for him to get on the road. Dad returned his love for his son, and waved him good bye. When my brother turned to look back at Dad, he had already closed his eyes. I can't help but wonder if Dad closes his eyes because he doesn't want to see us leave...
Today, I received the DVD my sister made for Dad. She did a wonderful job the way she timed the family photos with Bryan Adam's version of When You Love Someone. Our family has some Irish heritage and the beginning of the song, it sounds like Irish music. I immediately started crying when I saw Dad, back when he was living at home. If I stop and think back, it always makes me cry, because I miss having him home. I miss Dad and the way it used to be...