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...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Digging Up and Cherishing Memories of Dad...

I slept twelve hours last night!!  We left my daughter's around 5:30pm, so we could check into our hotel. We were exhausted!  We both collapsed on to the bed and were asleep within minutes...

My youngest daughter woke me at 6am.  She and her sister had been shopping since 2am and were at the Walmart near our hotel.  They felt bad we did not get to see one another very long and wanted to come by and give us a hug.  We never ate dinner last night, since we slept through dinner, having our turkey dinner, basically as a late lunch.... so we were starved!  The hotel serves a breakfast from 6am to 9am.

As I opened the door to let them in, I could smell the delicious scent of breakfast foods waiving up past our room from the kitchen down the hall...

I could feel the chill on their cheeks as they both hugged me and came into our room.  My husband, in good nature, stayed beneath the covers and graciously enjoyed his early morning hugs from the girls.  They sat and chatted for about a half hour.  I told them we were very flattered to have them give up a half hour of shopping to visit with us.  We all laughed...

The girls left and we dressed and enjoyed our breakfast.  Our plan was to meet my sister and all visit Dad at the nursing home.  We would have lunch after and then my husband and I would visit my Mom.  When my husband and I drove up to the nursing home, my sister and Dad were sitting out front by the lovely flowers, enjoying the sunshine.

I had bought a cake for the staff, so after hugging my sister and Dad, I started to take the cake inside, and my sister drew my attention to Dad's right eye, which looked horrible!  He always has problems with that eye, but it was red all around the upper and lower lids and the lower lid looked really swollen.  It has a milky discharge which sticks to his upper eye lashes.  She showed me a few other things which concerned her so I could address it with the charge nurse.

I gave the cake to the charge nurse and asked to write a note to Dad's doctor, as he usually comes on Fridays.  I told her what my sister observed and also asked for whoever is shaving Dad to be extra careful as he has such sensitive skin.  The lesion on his upper lip looks bigger and the sides of his face look like some one shaved him without shaving lotion.  It was all splotchy and irritated...  He also needed his nails trimmed along with his facial hair.  His ears looked like he is growing ear muffs...

When I returned, I brought Dad's sun hat and sunglasses.  My sister has been asking Dad questions about his life and writing his answers in a little book, to help us with the book we want to write about him.  I asked her how it was going and she shook her head, and said, "Not so good.  He is really confused today..."

Dad had told her one of his lovers had come to visit him.  When they found out she was there for him, she was shot and killed.  He was very sad over her death.  We figured he must have over heard some one's conversation or seen it on the TV.

We did our best to distract him, but it was clear, the sunshine was making him sleepy.  It was almost time for his lunch, so we took him back to his room and enjoyed the fact both his room mates were out; so we could chat and it was easier for Dad to understand us without the outside noise.

His wall was still adorned with his 90th birthday cards and his birthday badge blue ribbon.  My husband joked with Dad about having a slot machine saved for him.  Dad loves to talk about coming to Vegas and playing the machines.  He and Mom used to come to visit and we would have so much fun playing the penny machines all together.

When Dad generated conversation on his own, he words seemed slow and deliberate.  He still uses a wonderful vocabulary, but he puts the words in appropriately for the conversation to make sense.  He seemed much more confused than normal.  I still look at my Dad and think he resembles Clint Eastwood, especially as he looked in Gran Torino...

Dad wanted to take a nap, so we asked if he wanted to have a nice lunch and then take a snooze.  He thought it sounded like a good idea.  My sister wheeled him as we followed into the lunch room.  Immediately, Doctor-Doctor, who was not feeling herself today, smiled and served Dad his tray of food.  He had chopped carrots, mashed potatoes with gravy and turkey, rolls, milk, ice cream and coffee.  Dad dug into the pile of carrots and didn't stop eating when we hugged and kissed him good bye...

My sister, husband and I went to Chili's for lunch and enjoyed a nice, leisurely, time together.  I took some chips, salsa, and half of my salad to be boxed  up for Mom.  The Quesadilla Explosion Salad is one of her favorites.  When I called her to let her know we were on our way, she told me she was just thinking about fixing herself some lunch.  Our timing was perfect.

Mom has been having problems with her Internet and could not pay her bills online.  Since she recently had new windows installed, I decided to check all the connections.  Sure enough, one of the wires was not totally connected.  Mom was thrilled and quickly took the time to pay her bills.

She showed me the beautiful Christmas stocking she has cross stitched for my 6 year old grandson.  She has been working on it quite awhile.  It it very detailed and will be a cherished family heirloom.  As soon as she sends it off to her friend to have it transformed into a stocking, she will begin on one for baby Jacob.  She has done one for each of her grand children and great grand children.  All six of us kid's stockings were made from red felt and beads.

Mom told me she had found several more of Dad's journals for me.  I am anxious to read them, as a lot of them are from the early years.  We also found the Race Results for the 10th Annual Santa Monica Full and Half Marathon, held Sunday, August 29, 1982.  My Dad was 61 and his time was 3 hours, 59 minutes and 45 seconds.  He placed third.  I remember I called to congratulate him.  I could not believe he had run 26 miles!  At 60 years old he gave up eating salt and referred to it as, "white death".  I am happy to have the results as I also have the jersey he wore during the race.

We sat in the living room, admiring her new energy efficient windows and talked away the afternoon.  We left about 7pm, back down to Corona to our hotel, and had a nice dinner with some wine at Mimi's Cafe.

Tomorrow we hope to see Jerry's daughter and youngest son.  If they cannot change their works schedules, we may just go home one day early...

3 comments:

That corgi :) said...

what a precious heirloom your mom is leaving with making stockings for the grands! My mom made stockings for each of us, our spouses and the children that were alive before she passed. Each time I bring the stockings out, I'm reminded of her love for us :)

again, you certainly did a lot in your time visiting; I hope your dad's eye starts looking better

betty

Mari said...

I can't believe your Dad ran that race with a time like that at 61. What a guy!

gayle said...

Your Thanksgiving has been very busy with wonderful memories made! Wow your mom pays her bills online. She is one smart lady!