When we arrived Dad was sitting at the side of his bed with his elbows resting on his knees, hands dangling, looking at the floor; a million miles away. A cup of coffee lay untouched on his table and was perhaps a sign that he’d chosen the snooze over the drink. He looked sleepy and dishevelled and when he looked up I wondered if he’d been upset. He didn’t have great night he told me. And now he was too hot. The sleeveless jumper had to come off and the window needed to be opened wider to get some air circulating.
Where’s my blue inhaler?
At first, I wasn’t sure he could really be bothered with us and it took Linda and I some time to generate any conversation. Mostly it revolved around the antics of one of the carers who’d arrived on the scene and the goings on of the man across the hall.
Linda’s here to cut your hair.
He liked the idea of having his own personal stylist and the staff kidded him on about it. He liked the fuss and knowing he’d look a million times better afterwards. He asked for Andy Williams and sang along to Born Free and Moon River. Ignoring the lump in my throat, I busied myself by straightening his bed, putting his shopping away and searching for the staff nurse who said he’d been talking about mum earlier and wasn’t very happpy with her. Nothing new there then!
Soon he was telling us he’s to go back to what’s the name of that place again … opthalmology next year, that he’d finished the Bournville and doesn’t fancy that chicken curry much.
We spent time looking through the family album I created for him early last year. Some people no longer with us, some still very much alive; some people he sees, some he hasn’t seen for a long time. I hesitate when it comes to the who, where, what, why and when. An inevitable sadness lingers there so I’m selective in the photographs I turn to now because I don’t always have the answers to his questions.
Life. Time limited. Forever intertwined.
People here because he is. People part of his story that he’ll never meet.
Acceptance vs Hope.
Changing perspectives. Keep things simple.
Dad picked a line for the horses asking if David would put it on.
It’s been a wee while since I’ve had a winner.