The Last Real Father’s Day


First published on June 19, 2011.

From now on, everything is bittersweet.  I have had the very good fortune and abject misfortune to know that this is our last real Father’s Day.  I sadly know what is coming and I have had the good fortune of being able to have a few very good hours on a day that will never really be – again.  We have no idea how far along APR will be next  year.  Because of this knowledge, we are profoundly blessed by the realization that this is it.

My cousin, Linda, was not that fortunate on Mother’s Day.  She had no idea that her mother, my mother’s older sister, would not even make it another month.  I honestly don’t know which is worse, knowing what is to come, or what Linda faced.

Intellectually, I know it is never going to be as good as it was today.  We may get lucky.  The meds may work for awhile, but it is only “borrowed time” nothing more.

There was only one crises today.  The wind has been blowing so hard, it was creating havoc with the new swing.  APR went out and figured out how to keep it from being blown away, so that was a very good thing!

Many of the passages of our lives have been passed eating Chinese food.  Today was no exception.  We had lunch at the Great Wall.  The owners, Ryan, Nana, and Glenn are more like family that most members of our family!  I took APR his bag of cowboy books Cathy and were giving him.  He had some cards in the bag (from the cats).

We had nearly finished lunch when Glenn came in.  We talked for awhile.  My father told Glenn about Fred stealing his hearing aid.  I did not know that Fred had stolen his gold watch awhile back, hiding it in a cache in the garage!  So, my father tells Glenn that he noticed that Fred was learning how to read the phone book, and caught him with his paw on the page with the pawn shops!

That was so good!

He’s a little foggy this evening, but then again it’s called “Sundowning”.  We went through the usual about location, where I am, where they are, and where he lives.  That’s okay.  He knows it is Father’s Day, and had a very good day.

Isn’t that all that really matters?

Even though he had the directions about where he was living all mixed up, he knew exactly where Sierra Vista was.  I told him about the huge fire.  He knew where Hwy 92 was.  I described where it had begun on the Mexican side of the border.  He knew where the mountains were.  I told him the fire had crossed the road and was heading toward Hereford.  It was pushing toward the Mall and the base.  He mentioned that it was at least 15-20 miles from Tombstone.  He’s just not sure about Lincoln County and Hondo.

That’s life, isn’t it?

My mother said that she and Betty Mason were talking today after church.  Betty told her she did not understand why people were so ashamed of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Why is that?

My mother is coming to grips with things.  She said when she finally decided to face what was going on and fully admit it, she is feeling better.   I think she’s finally starting to sleep better.

You face it.  You don’t hide what is going on.  You don’t hide the person you love.  It is like cancer.  You don’t hide that.

I feel sorry for people who won’t allow themselves to accept that someone in their family has an illness that is eventually terminal.  It is not going to be pretty, but it is life.  My parents have friends and neighbors who are doing just this.  They are locking themselves away from the world.

Maybe that is even worse than the blasted disease itself.