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 I am re-inventing my blog... because, after all, life is about moving through, and going forward...

Friday, April 6, 2012

The King of the Tracks...

Please bare with me...I have done something to my right forearm and elbow...hurt like heck three weeks to a month ago, I could not even lift a cup of coffee....(but I was too busy with the patio project, painting pots and company)...Two weeks ago I discovered a lump about two fingers wide on the underside of my arm just before my elbow...this past Wednesday I went to Urgent Care because my doctor was gone this week.

The doctor thought I might have "tennis elbow" from repetitive movements...but the lump should be followed up by my doctor and an MRI done if it does not go away.  It is a little bigger than a pea now, so it has gone down.  It is tender and gives me a twinge if I lean down on it, so I have a wrist guard and an elbow wrap on to keep from twisting it any more.  Makes it difficult to type....


Mom went to visit Dad yesterday...she found him finishing his lunch.  Mom helped Dad eat the rest of his green jello..  the lobby was full of students and it was chilly on the patio so they visited in Dad's room.

Mom told   she had given my youngest brother E____ an envelope of old pictures and letters.  He had called Mom all excited because he had found a letter Dad had written to Great Grandpa and had included a drawing Dad had done of a train.  Dad let out a loud laugh...

"Of course I drew the train, because I was the engineer who drove the train!  That is what I did in the war...  I'd go all the way up the hill and there was nothing but ice and snow.  It was very slow coming down the hill because the resistance of all the ice and snow slowed me down....Part of my job was to load and unload the snow too..."

Dad looked at Mom (who was sitting and writing down everything Dad was saying, knowing full well Dad never engineered a train in his life, except a toy train...he was in the Marines.) with his eyes growing bigger with excitement...

"I also made the train tracks and served the food in the diner!  I got fat because I ate so much of the food.  I ate thick sirloin steaks every day!  I was treated like a King.  They called me "The King of the Tracks"...and I always knew exactly how much my check should be and I expected it to be given to me on time too!"

Mom nodded her head and smiled, "I am so impressed..." she managed to say as she kept scribbling down the non-stop story Dad was weaving...

"In Chicago, I knew how much I made...I went around and around the Empire State Building..."  Dad swung his arms in circles above his head as he described it to Mom...

" Don, are you thinking of the Sears Tower?  The Empire State Building is in New York..."

Again Dad let out a blast of laughter, "YOU ARE RIGHT!  It is the Sears Tower I was thinking of...
I had a draw on one of the buildings going up in Chicago and they told me how much I made, right down to the penny!"

"My youngest son, E___ is very sharp...."

"Some guy was pumping his bicycle tires and selling rags and old stuff...."

"I used to laugh at the old milk horse in Chicago...They'd stop at my door...a daily routine...and the milk was frozen and would come out of the top....Do you remember that?"

Mom shook her head, "I didn't live in a cold climate (she grew up in Florida) so I didn't have that experience..."

"Do you remember A____ K________?" (Dad's childhood friend and old girlfriend)

"No, I did not know you then...."

(Laughing) "Yeah, I had lots of girlfriends..."

"Uncle R_____ used to stay with us.  He showed me how to use a razor and shave.  He told me if I did a good job shaving, he would let me sell some of his razors..".(our great Uncle and his brother, our Grandfather were inventors...)

"They had to pay me to run the engines..." (Mom thought Dad had switched back to talking about the trains again...)

"I was paid very well and H____ ( my great Aunt who was married to Uncle R___) was there too..."

"I remember I______ and J_______ (Dad's family's servants when he was a young boy) They would charge groceries at the corner market, then J_____ would not pay the bill.  They gambled a lot and made quite a lot of money.  They were not suppose to do it.  They were not trustworthy.  They took advantage of my Dad..."

"My Dad had a lot of secretaries he would date.  He knew all the girls.  Dad kept silent and Mom was embarrassed, so she stayed quiet.  Dad dated Mom's best friend....Did you know that?"

(Mom was writing as fast as she could...)

" Uncle R_____ and I were on the date with them...(Mom knew he was mixed up and meant his Dad and his Uncle).  We were close...."  (Dad was very close to his Uncle who love and believed in Dad.  His father was extremely critical and disappointed with Dad.)

" R_____ would come to the house and my sister would put a tiara on R___'s head and crown him THE KING!"  Dad obviously smiling as he related and remembered his version of the story....

"Do you remember when we had our picture taken by R____ at the Huntington Hotel in Pasadena?"

" Don, that was not us, it was your sister R____ and her husband H_____..."

Roaring with laughter Dad said, "That's right!  You're right...H____ had a yacht and skippered the boat. He was an engineer...."

" I think he was in mining..."

Dad threw his head back laughing hard again saying, "Lynn, you remember everything!  You always had such an excellent memory..."

Mom's hand was cramped from writing, "OK Mr. Absent Minded Professor, I think it would be a good idea for you to take a wee nap before it is time to play Bingo....  Don?.....Don?" (Dad and Mom went to a costume party years ago and Mom had Dad dress as the Absent Minded Professor wearing a dress shirt, tie, jacket, sock garters and shoes, long boxers and no dress pants.  Mom went as a Flapper.  They won first prize...)

Mom leaned over to kiss him good-bye and Dad was already asleep!

Thank you Mom for all you do.  I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to hold on to the good times to balance out the sadness in seeing your life partner of over 65 years, fading away bit by bit, living in your home without him....  I love you so much Mom.  God Bless you!


Southhamsdarling said...

Hi Donna. That was a very touching post today, and, yes, it must be hard for your poor mum, but she does so well with it all, doesn't she? I pray that you will soon be healed. Sending you blessings for Easter. x

Mari said...

Oh my - I so love his stories!

Wander to the Wayside said...

I'm so impressed with how your family is handling all they do with regard to your dad, with humor and compassion. And these stories of his are incredible and so imaginative, weaving fact and fiction as they do!

Darlene said...

I have not posted a comment on your blog is so long but I read your posts via e-mail. I am so amazed at really how well your Dad is doing. It is such a hard journey for those that love someone going through this and terribly exhausting for family and friends. I feel for you as my Dad was in a home the last year of his life with Dementia, my Aunt also has Alzheimer's and not expected to last much longer due partially if not totally to negligence, my friends Mom was recently placed in a home with Alzheimer's as was my cousin by marriage, her Mom is now in a home with Alzheimer's. It seems to be everywhere I look in my life today. I pray for those in the homes and for the families dealing with this and hope that all watch as carefully as you do over your Dad and your lonely Mom as my Mom was for a year before my Dad's passing. You are an amazing woman and I hope that the days ahead are ok for your family and your Dad and so glad that you keep this blog going to inform others and to update that there are good places out there but to watch over. Happy Easter to you and your family.

Chatty Crone said...

Have a blessed Easter. Sandie

Linda O'Connell said...

Hope your arm/elbow feels better soon. God love your sweet dad and your mother for being so understanding and supportive. That was some story your dad told :)