In the past few months, my father has been having more trouble in walking. Sunday, he fell twice; my brother David and Daddy’s neighbor got him up the first time, but the second time, the fire department had to come out…again. When I saw Daddy after work on Sunday, he hadn’t had anything to eat or drink all day because he’d been afraid to walk into the kitchen. He did make it to the bathroom, but he can’t stand long enough to drink water from the sink and he can’t carry a glass of water with his walker.
David and I have been doing what we can to keep him at home, but now, even Daddy admits he can no longer live alone. While it saddens me he has to lose his independence, I have to admit, I’m also relieved he will be safe. We’re going to admit him to an assisted living home in the Broken Arrow area. Daddy will have full imput on where he goes, but the one we’re leaning towards will let him be in a private space with his own things around him. Best of all, my social butterfly dad will have a whole new group of ladies to charm with his hand-kissing ways.
The main reason I bring this up is that I always feared that when this time came, my brother and I wouldn’t be able to work together. But we have. Somehow, somewhere along the way to adulthood, David and I “lost” each other as brother and sister. I don’t know if it’s because we finally matured or because the moon is in the right quarter, but in this project we can finally work together. I suspect it’s because we both love Daddy and want the best for him. And because, despite all things, we ARE family.
I’ve been reading a new author, or at least, a new author for me…Kristin Hannah. Remember a few weeks ago when we discussed how moods can affect what we read or write? In this instance, what I’m reading is affecting my mood during the difficult time. For those of you who have never read Hannah, she writes these wonderful stories about dysfunctional families who find redemption through learning to love again. She makes you laugh. (“Let’s not drink our own bathwater, shall we? It’s one of the things that separates us from the lesser primates. Like men.” ) She makes you cry. But most of all she makes you believe in families and love.
And right now, she’s making it so much easier for me to take care of my Daddy.