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...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

There's Gold in them there Horseshoe Pits...

My youngest brother E____ went to visit "Pops", as he calls Dad, on the 20th of this month.  I am late in writing this post due to my cell phone deciding to go on the fritz just before I was to pick up my girlfriend Jan from the airport.  It's a long story...I will save that story for another post...

E____ found Dad relaxing in the hallway.  The nursing home is still redecorating, new wooden floors, new windows, new paint...all kinds of goings on...  So E____ stood about ten feet away from Dad and waited and watched.  Dad lifted his head and saw him... Dad's face lit up like the 4th of July!  He recognized my brother and called him by name....

E____ walked over to Dad with a huge smile across his face.  They shook hands and hugged.  E____ suggested going out on the patio and Dad was in full agreement.  They found a nice shaded table and settled in....  Dad asked my brother how his dogs were, calling them by name, which really shocked my brother, but made him very happy....



My brother pulled out his Droid cell phone and showed Dad how to flip through the pictures of his dogs and Dad marveled at the technology.  E____ showed Dad the navigation on his cell explaining how it works. Dad was very impressed.

E____ took a picture of Dad's eye, as it is looking really bad again...

A  bird landed right near Dad's shoulder on the back of his wheel chair.  My brother commented on it.  Dad acted like Dr. Doolittle, telling my brother, very matter of fact, how friendly the birds were... looking for food scraps.  "I love the rabbits and squirrels too...but I have not seen too many squirrels lately..."  E___ had to smile...such a "Dad moment"...

My brother asked Dad's advice on one of his fruit trees having a white powdery substance.  Dad instructed him how to rid of it, reminding him he can always take samples to a nursery for help...

Dad shared he had been cleaning out his side drawers, reading some of his cards and letters... Dad mentioned one of his grand sons who lives in Ohio, wanting to be a Fireman, but is working at Home Depot.  "Maybe he thinks being a fireman is too passe..."  Dad wondered...

My brother noted, the word passe, was the word of the day for Dad...he used it quite often during their visit...

"I've been sleeping so great lately... it is just wonderful..."  I was glad to hear this, because he has been telling Mom and I the same thing...

Dad and my brother discussed sleeping positions.  Seems the entire family goes to sleep on our side, with one arm folded under our head on our pillow, ending up on our back.  None of us are stomach sleepers...

"I like your shoes..."  Dad complimented E____ so my brother slipped them on and off his foot to Dad's approval...  Dad is a shoe lover.  When he went shopping, he generally bought hats and shoes...

"You know I am over six feet now... I've been working out..."  My brother only smiled and nodded when Dad boasted about his fantasy to be as tall as his sons.... Dad used to stand 5'11" and is now probably 5' 5"...  all of his sons are over six feet.

My brother changed the subject and told Dad about his bowling score the night before.  He averaged 193 one game and 214 in another...   "M____ is a bowler...."  Dad thought aloud...(M is one of Dad's friends...)

They discussed going bowling , before Dad went into the nursing home, he went out to lunch and bowling with three of his sons and two of his grand sons.  "I don't like the hamburgers here, I eat them without the bun.  My favorite burger is In and Out and my favorite fries are from McDonald's..."  E____ shared having In and Out for dinner last night...

"I enjoy my afternoon naps...unless my room mates are there...then I cannot sleep because they snore so loud."

Dad looked to the mountains, remarking how beautiful they were... Years ago, Dad and his friend, E___ climbed Mt. Whitney.  My brother asked him about it.  "We started at 10,000 feet and climbed to 13,000 feet and had to stop due to a snow storm..."  (Neither my brother or I could remember the actual details, so I will have to double check with Mom...

"We also hiked the White Mountains in the Sierra Nevada's...we really worked up an appetite.  When we finished, the guides had prepared pork and beans.  We almost ate it all, eating everyones portions.  As they came down, the other hikers were hungry and yelled at us for eating it all...but we had a good laugh..."

E____ had heard a trivia question earlier in the day on the radio.  The question was, WHERE ARE THE OLYMPIC MOUNTAINS?  So E____ decided to ask Dad.  "Sure, the Olympic mountains are in the western part of Washington state, " Dad quipped.  E____ was shocked Dad knew, because when he heard the question, he had no idea...  (When we were little -- before E___ was born), I think I was 8 years old, we went camping in the Olympic mountains.  It was so cold, Mom put extra pairs of underpants on our heads for hats and socks for our gloves.  Dad told ghost stories around the campfire, but had to stop we started crying.)

"I remember when Mt. St Helen's exploded in Washington and the ash spread all the way to California.  I saved some ash in a jar..."  My brother was not surprised...Dad saved everything!


" I buried some gold in the backyard..." Dad shared.


"Where?" asked E___.





E_____ nodded intently, knowing Dad always talked of an Urban Legend of gold being buried near a huge oak tree near a nursing home... Dad was obviously remembering the tale and telling a different version...

"Yeah, I buried a nugget the size of a golf ball."


"Wow!".... E_____ exclaimed, "That ought to be worth a fortune!"


" Yeah, the government used to send planes to fly over the backyard to spy on me..."


" I remember Dad, I remember..."


"I sure appreciate you coming to visit me...next time I will treat you to lunch..."


"Thanks Dad...that would be great..."


"I think I am ready for a nice siesta..."


"OK Dad, I will take you back inside..."


When they reached the nursing station, "Pickles" stopped my brother, telling him they were finishing the new wood floors in Dad's room.  E_____ had noticed the residents playing Bingo in the activities room walking back to Dad's room...

"Hey Dad, they are just starting a Bingo game...you wanna' play?"

"Sure!"

"Pickles" flirted with Dad, asking if she could escort him to the Bingo game...

"Why yes!  I would just LOVE that!"

E_____ leaned over to hug Dad, telling him how much he loved him...

"Love you too son...see you next time."


E____ stood for a moment and watched as "Pickles" pushed Dad in his wheel chair down the hallway...Dad must have tickled her fancy, because she threw her head back and was giggling joyfully...

Another great visit with Dad....

Update:  Results from Dad's biopsy last Thursday are in.  The wound on his left pinkie toe is a basal cell carcinoma, as expected.

6 comments:

Mari said...

You've all been blessed with great visits lately. He's been doing great!

Jeanie said...

I'm glad to hear about another good visit...it sounds like your dad is really doing well lately.

Pat said...

What does the results of the biopsy mean, in terms of treatment?

Liz Davis said...

Hey there,

I've stopped by to let you know I've elected you for an award. Pick it up here and have a lovely day:
http://novel-moments.blogspot.com/

Please say hi to your dad for me.

Liz

Katie Gates said...

What a wonderful visit your brother had. Your dad revealed so much lucidity!

Darlene said...

Your Dad sounds like he is in the perfect place with caring people and activities to do along with the fact that he has some memory as my Dad did with his Dementia. I guess next is the removal of the Basal Cell Carcinoma. I had one removed from my temple. Not fun, but it goes away, which is a blessing as it is the least invasive of skin cancers.