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Archive for June, 2009

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This is my Dad at Christmas last year.  It’s not unusual for him to dress for the occasion…a ribbon and a hat? The perfect package.

Today I bring him lunch from the Goshen Bakery. I wheel him outside and we sit together watching thunderheads pile up to the east. The air is moist. A doe and her twins fawns nibble wild clover on the other side of the parking lot. We eat fresh spring pea soup, salad, mushroom and asparagus fritatta. And, of course, dessert–apple tart and some kind of outrageous chocolate mousse cake.

Dad is pensive. He says, “My mind is just all over the place. It’s a jumbled-up mess.” I empathize. He knows that his memory is fading. He wants to know what’s next. “What should I do now?” he asks. “I’ve always planned my life. All I ever wanted was a happy marriage and happy children. And I think I had that. I loved your mother more than anyone. I think I loved her well, didn’t I?”

“Yes, Dad,” I say, “you did love her well; you loved all of us well.”  He seems relieved by this.  “Then she didn’t leave me for someone else?”  “No, Dad, she died a long time ago.”

He asks about his car and I tell him that it’s sitting in my driveway; that he hasn’t driven for seven years. He’s shocked. He wants to know what kind of a car it is and how many miles are on it. I tell him it’s a Honda with over 190,000 miles on it. He seems pleased and perplexed. He wants to know if it is a sedan or a wagon, what color and who drives it and says , “I don’t remember it at all.”

He says, “I just try to think about about things and I can’t anymore. I don’t know what to do or where to go from here.” I smile and hold his hand.

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