When I visit Dad, as I did today, I.....
1. Ask how he is sleeping.
2. Water his plant
3. Straighten the framed photos on the wall that have slipped out of place
4. Check the candy and Ensure supply
5. Ask about library books; which ones are ready to go back?
6. Check and remark about the updated Exxon Mobil stock quote
7. Clean and change the batteries in his hearing aids.
8. Hand him his 5 pound weight and encourage him to "lift 200 pounds", a hundred with each arm
9. Check the volume on his telephone
10. Let him know when I'll be back next and ask if he wants anything
Today he complained about not getting his eye drops. He also couldn't give me a definitive "yes" about going to church on Sunday and told me to call him back on Sunday morning to decide yay or nay. He wasn't happy about his shoes and couldn't understand why his foot care provider wanted him to get a new pair. He told me Geydon will only let him have 2 peppermint patties a day. He pointed out that the carpet in his room had been professionally cleaned recently. He told me that as soon as I left he was going to get one of the caregivers to take him out for a walk. When I told him he looked good today, he said, "Thank you" and smiled.
Each visit is much the same. He seems to welcome my company but I'm lately feeling as though his world is shrinking smaller. The smallest things are huge for him.
Sometimes battling the snarled up traffic to drive all the way to Northgate and back seems like such a waste of precious time. I wish he were closer. I spend more time in the car than I do with him. A big bite comes right out of the day when I go to Dad's. Balancing the feelings of resentment with the guilt of not going when I could or should is rough. Guess which is the worse feeling? Yep...guilt is way worse. Always has been and always will be.
And, tomorrow is another day.