OK. It happened today.
The day started with a doldrumness feeling. I was tired. I was stressed. I was feeling lonely and unsure.
My dad has Alzheimers and Parkinsons – what a combo…:(
Mom called today…”Jeff, there’s an open room at the memory care facility.” Boom! Damn! Really?
My sister, Mom, and I had been expecting this for over a month, but when you hear, ” You are first on the list,” it kind of makes you cringe. Knowing that for an opening in a nursing home means that someone else has died? Umm, not my comfort zone.
Pops has gone downhill fast. My family moved back from Vancouver, WA in Spring of ’17, as we knew he was declining quickly.
I know it wasn’t the best time ever growing up, but he’s pops. My dad. My father. My pappy. The ‘Ol man, etc.
He was there. He worked hard. He brought us to Hawaii every year since I was 5 – probs about 35 trips my friends. Yes, he worked 7 days per week. Ignoring things that may have been perceived more important.
Speaking to dad on Sunday, February 24, 2019 ( after his donut from Fluffy’s – Brian Briggs you down?) (shaved and showered him next) – we then had quite a few laughs, cries, hmm’s and questions.
My big Q was ” Dad, why did you work 7 days per week when I was growing up?” His response was beautiful: “Jeff, I never felt confident in what I did as a dad. Working gave me confidence, because I was good at it.”
Wow. My dad gave me about 40 trips to Hawaii. Camping. National Parks. Baseball. Swimming. Surfing. Scuba. Whatever Marian and I needed.
Now- What was left? A few memories? Stories of Frozen Custard from Milwaukee? Some laughs? A model of the USS Arizona that we built in 1975?
No. Pops is not just a shell. He is here. He is now. He is present. He is my dad of 53 + years and every time I see him, he is me. My life. My family. My pops.
I love you Pops.