This morning, as I have repeatedly been attempting, for the last several days, I could not reach Dad. Either he was in rehab, the shower, the dining room for activities, in the dining room eating, or the nurses were dispensing medications and could I please call back later...Today, he was in the dining room playing Bingo. He HATES Bingo!
After seeing Dad's picture in my sister's email yesterday, it made me long to hear Dad's voice even more. I have not spoken with him since my husband and I visited him on September 9th. I felt so frustrated!
I called Mom. She had just returned from church, and was finishing her breakfast. She told me she planned to go visit Dad afterward. She offered to call me when she got there. She did, and it was wonderful to hear his tone of voice when he says my name. Now, I can relax, there is peace in the world. My lil' papa, saying my name....aaaaaaahhhhhh.
He sounded so cheerful and happy. He was still in the dining room, because there was a lot of background noise and it was hard to hear him. He told me he was enjoying looking outside at the umbrellas on the patio, how he had gotten up and worked with the boys... He told me he was so grateful for everything.
I have a monthly calendar of the nursing home activities, to help me know when to call. There is a nature walk planned today on the patio, and I asked if he was going. "You BETCHA!" was his answer. He said something about black widows, and I couldn't hear the rest of what he said, so I asked him to repeat it... He asked me, "Do you remember what we used to do with the black widows?" I told him I did, we used to "smash them". Still a bit off course, as to why he was asking about black widows, he said, "Yes, we would SWAK them!".
As he said that, visions of long ago memories flooded my head and I remembered us working in the garden together. He found a black widow, with her nest, behind some boards he had moved. He told me to stand back, and then flopped the board, nest up, onto the ground. Wearing his work boots, he stepped on the widow, twisting his foot to grind her into a quick death. Then smashed all the nests too. He washed off the board and told me how careful I had to be when working in the yard or around stacked things. He told me to always shake out my garden gloves before putting them on my hands because spiders lurk in dark places. I have always heeded his words, and took it one step further. I either fold them over and clasp with a clothes pin or seal them in plastic bags.
Changing the subject, I ask Dad if he was having lunch. I could hear Mom ask Dad if he could move closer. I heard Dad say, "WOW!!". I know that comment, it means food has arrived!
Despite the arrival of his food, and no doubt his mouth watering with both his hands up and at the ready, he told me he loved me... and that will make my day complete!
Now I can go to the 30th Annual St. Gennaro Fest Festival in Little Italy, Las Vegas with my husband and enjoy the day. Ti amo, Papa...