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...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Memory Flashes From My Father's Voice...

I called the nursing home this morning, still trying to talk with Dad...I called a little before 9am.  I was asked to call back in fifteen minutes as he was having his shower...

I called back in a half hour and they told me he was not in his room, so they tried to dining room, then tried to have me call again.  I insisted they please find him as I have been trying for several days.  After a short wait, I could hear a nurse telling Dad, his daughter was on the phone...

Hearing his voice say my name, was a mixture of delight and what felt like a 'pinched heart'.  Some times, hearing his voice, sets in motion a whirling, rapid, nano second flashes of memories...him dressed in a suit and tie when he came to my apartment when I lived at the beach, to take me to dinner.  Riding his shoulders as we rode a ferry boat in Bremerton, Washington.  I must have been six or seven, but I still remember the breeze on my face and the twinkling lights in the darkness...Dad in his overalls, working and puttering in the yard. The sound of his voice when he asked if he could make me a cup of tea, and how it always tasted like the best cup of tea...

When I was pouting for having to do dishes as a stubborn pre-teen, he would lift up my pony tail, and kiss the back of my neck.  I would giggle and get goose pimples... his never ending patience and long, detailed explanations to any question I asked.  His faith in God and seeing him kneeing in morning prayer, his hands clasped, thumbs over lapped, fingers pointing to the heavens, just like a child.  If any of us were hungry, he would go to any lengths to satisfy your taste buds and act as if we were doing him the favor...

I immediately tell him how much I love and miss him, and his voice softens and tells me how much I mean to him too.  He laughs and smiles when I make kissing noises and tell him I am stuffing the phone with kisses and hugs... His voice sounds hopeful and happy when I tell him of my visit in a few weeks...

I ask, knowing the answer, but wanting to hear how good he feels, after his shower.  Dad always started and ended his day, with a shower.  I ask how he is.  He tells me he did not sleep too well.  He was up all night, watching out for himself... 

I wonder often if he will ever feel as safe and secure there, in the nursing home, as he did in his home. Personally, no matter how kind and caring they are at the nursing home, I cannot imagine it myself. I think of his terminology and wonder if he is standing guard like he did in the Marine Corp over 67 years years ago...

We chat about the weather there and here, about Doctor-Doctor, and how they take care of him.

I told him he must be exhausted, and ask if he had his breakfast already.  He told me he did, but he also mentioned he was not so hungry as he ate so much yesterday...we both laughed together, because he does love to eat...

I told him again how much I loved him and that my husband sends his love too.  Dad asked how he was and told him he was working hard, but he is fine.  Dad was glad to hear it.

Knowing he needed some shut eye, I asked if he wanted to take a little nap before lunch, and the relief in his voice told me he was really tired.  I wished him the sweetest of dreams and told him I would see him soon...

I miss you Dad and love you so very much...

5 comments:

Mari said...

I'm glad you got to talk to him. I loved hearing more about him when you were growing up. It reinforces all I have learned about him, and I can tell he was a great Dad and a wonderful man.

That corgi :) said...

hugs to you Donna; I am glad you will see him soon, I know it is hard to make a "connection" over the phone, but it does sound like you do the best you can to make one and keep in touch with him.

betty

Chatty Crone said...

I am glad you are able to have that good of a conversation with him, but oh how my heart breaks too.

Love,
sandie

char72 said...

This really brings back memories for me. Both of my parents died in a nursing home over 10 years ago. My Dad never commented on any of my styles as I was growing up, but he mentioned several times that he liked my pony tail. When he kissed me he always liked to kiss one of my eyes. It always annoyed me. Now I would love him to kiss my eyes. I would even put my hair in a pony tail for him if it was long enough.
Blessings and prayers for both you and your dad.
Charlotte

gayle said...

I am so glad you got to talk to your dad!!