Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dad and Me

Now that I'm working a more demanding schedule, my "days off" are fewer. I try to visit my Dad whenever I am NOT working. That's usually 2-3 times a week. The problem is: the days are typically one right after another instead of spread out through the week. Hence, he typically has a stretch of days that are "dry" in terms of visitors unless he has a doctor's appointment. In that case, Catie generally picks him up and takes him. He enjoys those outings as much as a visit from family. I try to keep him up-to-date on all his doc/dentist/foot care appointments to get him OUT and ABOUT..

I haven't seen Dad since last Monday. I could tell he was glad to see me walk through the door today. He was asleep in his living room chair with the TV on but he woke up fast and we walked back to his bedroom to visit out of the watchful eye of the staff. He likes the privacy of his room. Our visits share commonalities.

We always touch on:

1. the Exxon Mobil stock quote
2. how he slept the night before
3. the weather
4. the framed photographs on the wall by his bed; oftentimes I need to tweak them into position as they get askew easily.  He'll say, "You need need to straighten up Father Bain's photograph". And, so I do.
5. the status of his plant; does it need water?
6. how many 6 packs of Ensure chocolate drink he has in his closet; do I need to place a new order?
7. his daily exercise routine with the 3 pound hand weight; "Did you do your exercises today, Dad?", I'll ask.
8. the upcoming events/outings on his calendar kept in the front pocket of his walker
9. the status of his hearing aids
10. what he's currently reading.

As for the last topic, he's reading books again now that we've figured out that what held him back was more than needing to keep a watchful eye on Mom when she was alive. Turns out he needed "large print" books in order to read comfortably. What's really weird is that we're both reading (and have been reading for an ungodly period of time) Jonathan Franzen's new book, Freedom. It's taking Dad just as long to plow through this tome as it's taking me. I watch his bookmark move forward  v e r y   s l o w l y  as the days and weeks pass. Franzen writes well but this one just isn't as captivating (for me) as his other bestseller, The Corrections. Dad commented that he was having a hard time "keeping a grip on the plot". Likewise, since I'm dipping into the book only once a week or so. I'm almost finished however, as is he; our independent journeys unique.

I'm just glad he's reading again.

He's requesting short stories now as, "I can read them in one sitting". Sounds good to me, Dad. Sounds good.

Till tomorrow, Dad. I'll see you tomorrow.

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