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, December 29, 2011

Christmas Eve Laughter with Dad...

Christmas Eve day, my husband and I left Nevada and drove to CA.  We went directly to Mom's house, picked her up and went to Marie Callendars for lunch.  Afterwards Jerry drove us to visit Dad.  We found him in the dining hall watching TV and waiting for dinner.  We wheeled him to the sitting room with the piano in the front of the nursing home.

They had a beautiful Christmas tree decorated in green and blue bulbs....of course Dad told us it was decorated just for him since those were his favorite colors.

Dad was very excited to see my husband Jerry.  When he first saw me, he called me, Holl Doll, which is his pet name for my sister, then he realized it was me.

I noticed the alarms did not sound when we wheeled him through the security doors and Dad's eye looked HORRIBLE.  I sat and visited for a little bit then excused myself to go talk to the charge nurse about the batteries and his eye.

When I returned, Dad was telling Mom how ticked off he was and he could have given the guy a clip to his chin...  Mom was telling Dad he knew better than to lose his temper...

To change the mood, I presented Dad with a 1st Marine Battalion pin from one of my husband's friends. He had asked me to give it to Dad the next time I saw him.  Dad was very emotional and thanked us for delivering it to him.  He wanted us to tell Paul, my husband's friend, how much it meant to him.

I gave Dad his Christmas card, which I had to read to him.  He loved it and thought the votive candles on the front of the card were shot glasses...

"I would like to take a trip to Las Vegas..." Dad announced, as he turned to look at Jerry.

"That sounds GREAT to me," Jerry smiled

"I know what you like to do with the ladies Jerry..." Dad leered...

Jerry burst into infectious laughter, which ignited Dad's funny bone and they both sat there laughing their heads off, with Mom and I joining in....

Jerry told Dad, "Yeah, we will party!"

Dad perked up, sitting tall in his wheelchair and bellowed, "PARRRR-TAAYYYYY!" .... which made us all howl with more laughter!

There was a woman sitting beside us who was trying to write in a Christmas card and was totally distracted, laughing with us...

Dad offered to take us all out to dinner... Mom gently shared that we had to drive to Riverside to meet my step-daughter and her husband for dinner.  Dad understood, telling us we could do it another time....

The CNA came to change the batteries in Dad's wander guard and informed us dinner was being served.  We all walked with Dad back to the dining room, while I wheeled Dad into his place at the table.  He pointed out a smiling woman with long, flowing white hair and told us he would sit with her.... Jerry leaned in toward Dad's good ear and whispered, "We know how you like the ladies..." which gave Dad a big laugh and a gleam in his eye....

After we all kissed and hugged, I borrowed some scotch tape and hung Dad's Christmas card to his wall of love in his room.  My sister and Mom had visited the day before and Holly had arranged all Dad's cards in a tree shaped form on the wall.  It looked awesome, so I carefully placed our card to the side to expand the width of the tree...(Mom took the 1st Battalion pin off Dad's shirt and we told the charge nurse we were putting it in his drawer for save keeping.)

Mom had to run a quick errand on the way home so we stopped by the Post Office so she could drop off her mail.

It was short, but a great visit with Dad.

We enjoyed a nice Italian dinner at Romano's, one of our most favorite restaurants with our daughter and son in law that night.  We checked into our hotel and waited for our youngest son to get off work at Disneyland. Dressed in his uniform, still wearing his apron, we exchanged gifts, sitting and chatting for awhile. He is the one who will be leaving for the Marines in April when he turns 21.  He left around midnight and we collapsed into our bed and fell immediately asleep.

Christmas morning we drove to my oldest daughter's home, joined by my youngest daughter and her family.  We exchanged gifts and enjoyed all three grand sons playing with their new toys.  My daughter made us a delicious ham luncheon with all the fixings.  Jerry and I left mid afternoon to see the movie WAR HORSE directed by Steven Spielberg.  It was excellent. Everyone clapped at the end.

After the show, we drove to my youngest daughter's home for a yummy prime rib dinner and private play time with baby Jacob, who is now 15 months old.  It was a wonderful evening which ended at 10pm. We drove back to our hotel after fighting the holiday traffic on the freeways...again, free falling into our beds for much needed sleep....

The day after Christmas, we checked out of our hotel and drove to Irvine to visit my husband's grand daughters who loved the skates we bought them.  We all went out to lunch at Islands and then visited and until they had to leave to exchange a broken scooter....

We drove back to my older daughter's home to spend the night as we were watching the boys the next day while my daughter goes to Orange County for Jury Duty.

While watching the boys the next morning, I noticed Delilah's cone was no longer around her head.  (Delilah and Dutch are their brown labs and Delilah has the cone so she will not get to her spayed stitches.)  I called the neighbor to take Dutch to his house and called my son in law.  My daughter called telling me she was excused from Jury Duty and when I told her about the cone, she had to get to the vet to get another one.

By 2pm, the cone had been replaced and we were on the road back to Nevada...the traffic was stop and go, but we made it home in four and a half hours with my husband cussing in Italian most of the way...

Hope everyone had a wonderful, Blessed Christmas and a Happy New Year!!!

7 comments:

Mari said...

Sounds like a wonderful time! A good visit with your parents and seeing the rest of the family is perfect!

Linda O'Connell said...

Ahh, the shared laughter made me smile, but all that visiting wore ME out. How wonderful to make so many happy memories. Happy New Year.

Jeanie said...

It sounds like you had a whirlwind Christmas trip with lots of fun and food along the way. I'm glad you got to see your dad and your grandsons. I hope you have gotten some rest time since you have been home.
Happy New Year!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Donna, that's wonderful you had a good visit with your father. And if he can't really do a trip to Vegas, I wonder if there's a way to bring it to him?
Happy New Year!

Betty said...

Happy New Year to you Donna! I hope you are doing well and wish many blessings for the coming year!

Chatty Crone said...

Just wanted to say hello and wish you a very happy new year! sandie

gayle said...

It's so good to read such a wonderful post about your family!!