This blog was formerly dedicated in 2009 to my Dad who died of Alzheimer's in 2013. It's been three years now...and I find myself missing blogging...so I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Phantom of the Opera....

I talked to Dad yesterday.  He was asleep, but I asked the nurse to wake him up.  He sounded groggy and his voice was deep and his words slurred.  Normally, I hate talking to Dad when he sounds like that, but I have not spoken with him since Christmas.  I wanted to visit with him one more time before we left California...but our visiting and traveling schedule was just too hectic.  I really wanted to erase that negative visit from Christmas...

I must have awakened him in the midst of one heck of a provocative dream.  I apologized for waking him and asked him how he felt.  He told he was feeling pretty sexy...

Now, talking sex or any subject relating to sex has never been a subject Dad was ever comfortable discussing with me...or anyone in the family for that matter... when I was a child, I had heard the "F" bomb for the first time.  I asked my Dad what it meant. Being a self proclaimed Farmer, he proceeded to bore and confuse me silly when he launched into various species of animals, flowers and something about fertilizer.  I lost interest, and it wasn't until years later before I received the explanation from one of my preteen friends...

Dad was telling me about the reality of purity and it seemed every other word was passion. He told me he had been enjoying the epitome of what he has to share with his dream girl.  I am not sure if that was Katie Couric, his favorite aide, or Mom...but it really didn't matter to me.  If it gives him some pleasure and happiness, go for it Dad...

He asked me if I felt it was wrong...and I told him reality is relative.  He told me, "I feel like the Phantom of the Opera"...  His comment almost stopped my heart...

I could not help the tears welling and cascading down my cheeks.  The thought of him sleeping more to enjoy a richer life... to dream of a woman who loves him and he loves her...those precious moments shared between a man and a woman, that so many take for granted.  Dad will never experience that in real time, only in his dreams.

So many activities and moments he will never experience again...yet, knowing Dad, he does his best to make the most of what he does have... It is so easy for us to say, "this is no way to live"...but to him, every day is precious, because life, being alive, is everything when you consider the alternative...he has a strong will to live.

Almost every conversation with him, he tells me how Blessed he is...

I think back to last May when I stayed with him, and I am so very grateful for that time.  Even though it was emotionally draining and physically exhausting, there were moments...like when we would sit down after dinner and have Bible Study together.  The look on his face when I read to him, and the sound of his reverent voice as he read to me.  The way he would enjoy a cup of coffee.  Watching him through the kitchen window, doing what he loved to do, puttering around in the back yard...

Despite how off he was these past several years, the precious memories of Dad, when he was my real Dad, keeps me going during these difficult times... I love you Dad.

7 comments:

Mari said...

It's a blessing to have those wonderful memories. It's also a blessing for him to be able to have great dreams. I rarely hear anything about dreams from my residents.

Fran Hill said...

I think perhaps you're right to try and see his life from his perspective. Take him at his word. If he feels 'blessed' then that's so good. This must all be very difficult for you though.

Wander to the Wayside said...

Hi, Donna! Thank you so much for visiting and leaving your nice comment! I have just spent an hour and a half reading your blog, especially about Izzy. It looks like you are doing all the right things, and most you will learn as you go along by reading, watching Dog Whisperer and Victoria Stillwell's 'It's Me or the Dog' (Animal Planet), or just by seeing what works best for you and Izzy and the hubby. As I'm sure you found at my place, I love my three dogs almost as much as my grandsons (well, not quite). We're an unstable pack at the moment, but I'm hugely in love with each of them. We adopted our dogs at about the same time...my Oliver (the chihuahua) is sitting in my lap right now and I'm typing with one hand because I don't want to disturb him. He is so soft and so sweet! Did you ever think you could love a dog this much? (And did you read my post on 'My Canine Companions'?)

As for your father, I truly empathize with your pain. It's been a year and a half since my dad died of alzheimers, but I can still hear entire nonsensical and abusive conversations in my head, still see the actions and movements of a body betraying a man.

I look forward to reading more of your writings, and hope you will visit me again. I'm in a slump right now what with ending one year and beginning another! You mentioned calendars - I've decided that this year I'm going to throw away 35 years worth of old calendars because (a) I'm never going to frame or make any other craft project out of the picture, and (b) I'm pretty sure that I've already transferred anything important to my 'Days of My Life' folder,and (c)I don't need them as a mind jogger for what day I gave the dogs their heartworm pill in 1975.

Donna said...

Hi Donna, thanks for dropping by on my blog. I wish you a much Happier New Year too. I have been following your blog and love to read it. My heart goes out to you as I follow your Father's horrible path of Alizheimers. I love seeing Izzy and the walk with pictures the other day was great.

Jonny J Petros said...

I can see your eyes opening wide and being startled when your dad awoke and said I'm feeling pretty sexy. When He says he feels blessed He probably remembers great moments in his life from time to time so he does feel blessed by having the wonderful family that he has and its good for you to be able to remember those wonderful memories.Beautiful writing, Thank You for sharing Sincerely, Jonny

dellgirl said...

What a beautiful post, you have written it so eloquently! It should be everyone's destiny to have such enduring and rich dreams. I hope mine are. I've had nightmares since childhood (they've tapered off lately thankfully)...so such dreams would be a welcome addition to my life.

Thanks for following me, I really appreciate it. I'm going to follow back. I love your blog.

Happy New Year, Donna!

Donna B said...

Hi Mari...yes, both Dad and I have always shared interesting dreams.

Fran. I agree...I always follow his lead...unless he is negative, than I do my best to redirect him.

Wander: It was good talking with you and I look forward to more visiting and dialogue.

Donna: Thanks for stopping by and please don't be a stranger...good to hear from you again.

Jonny: Thank you for your kind and generous comments. Your work is so beautiful!

Dellgirl: Thank you for following me and for stopping by. I appreciate your compliments.