Mom went to visit Dad today and found him, in the front row playing Bingo. The card numbers were huge and they used poker chips to mark the numbers called. We thought he hated Bingo! He was so engrossed in the game and his card, she did not want to interrupt. Mom took the Country magazine she had brought him, and read it in the hall until the game was finished.
When Dad came out, he asked to be taken to his room, so Mom followed along and watched as the attendant helped Dad into bed. She said Dad seemed weak, and needed the attendant's strong arm for assistance to get settled.
She sat beside his bed and asked him how his visits were with their youngest son, daughter and her husband. Dad laid with his eyes closed and rambled about the chapel at Cal Poly, the younger generation needing our support, and big rocks in the ocean. He gave her yes or no answers to her questions, and continued with his own conversation. Mom said he only mentioned "medical history" once.
Mom is doing her best to not take it personally when Dad ignores her, but I know it is still difficult for her. It was clear to her that Dad had no idea yesterday was Thanksgiving. In retrospect, it was probably my emotions I was thinking more about, because clearly, Dad is in a world of his own. If we would have brought him to the house, it was have been emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausting for him. He would have been out of his comfort zone, felt strange being the only one in a wheel chair, and would not have had the attendance of his caregivers to maintain his dignity.
I know my youngest brother was right. We have to think about what is best for Dad, during the holidays, not what is best for us. I know that in my head, it is just tough to make it stick in my heart...