What Went Right

After spending 5 days and 4 nights with my folks I’m grateful.

Grateful for the alone time driving and chatting with them. No distractions. It’s amazing and curious the random topics they come up with. It’s like their minds are a mix up of dates, names, morals, experiences, hopes and reality. The result is a conversation that’s hard to follow at times but a reel of your life rolled into a run on sentence.

Grateful for their mobility. Since starting an exercise program last year mom is considerably more mobile. Still unsteady and unsure of her steps she can motor quite nicely. Dad has been using the steps at their apartment so he’s still pretty good. They had to sleep on the second floor and they managed very well. We walked Molly in a different locale everyday and the adventures were fun.

Grateful for their appetites. I enjoy cooking and they enjoy eating. I’m convinced that when an elderly person loses their appetite that they are winding down. We discovered this with Rudy Sr. His appetite left and so did his spirit. My dad savours his meals and it’s a pleasure to watch him enjoy it.

Grateful for their serenity. They enjoy the simple things. A chat watching the sunrise. A coffee and snack. A game of cards. Quietly taking in the sounds of the waves. There’s no mad rush for a new adventure or activity. Life is slow and peaceful. I asked dad if he would polish the silverware and I gave him the tools to do it. He did a few pieces and said he would take it home. He didn’t want to spend his visiting time on something he could do anytime.

Grateful for their togetherness. It’s simply astonishing how they’ve become one person. They have managed to maximize their strengths and diminish each others shortcomings. They are two halves of a whole. Dad is so watchful and aware of mom’s physical well-being and mom is the foreman. Dad has to complete most of the tasks while mom dictates the plan. Moms cognitive functions are not intact at all times. There are spells. They work around it. The dynamic is inspiring. It’s easy to see how longtime couples cease to function when one half isn’t there anymore.

Grateful for their independence. While wonderful to spend time it’s also a blessing they live independently on their own. Everyone needs space. There’s no doubt we would make an adjustment if required. But they are just fine on their own. Two halves making it work. Yin and yang. Peas in a pod.

As we drive home dad proclaims that he’s going to drive himself at thanksgiving when we rendezvous again. He thinks me driving back and forth is nuts. Hmmmm. Okay. I agree out loud while thinking “no way” to myself. He’s adamant at the moment so I go with the flow. Back in Stratford I take mom to her appointment. It requires a follow up in 4 weeks. We book it for the Friday morning of the thanksgiving weekend. Mom says to me: you’re dad won’t like it. Why? I say. She says, coyly, “I know what you’re doing”. Yup. Just doing my thing.

When dad asks how the doctor visit went mom says fine. I tell dad there’s a follow up and I will be back. Mom has forgotten when it is.

I’m grateful for that.

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