Monday, January 14, 2008

Visiting My Dad

It was a busy weekend and it seemed I had little time to relax. I dislike it when my weekends are full of activity and they feel like a workday. Now it is already the start of a new week and another weekend seems far away. My son has gone back to the seminary in Indianapolis. Before leaving he received some exiting news. In April he will get to go to New York to see Pope Benedict XVI say mass at Yankee Stadium. Next weekend he is going to Washington, D.C. for some kind of march but at the moment I can't remember the cause. I hope the cause is middle aged men with memory lost. Needless to say, this has been a good year for Nick.

Yesterday I went to see my father in the nursing home. When I walked in his room, he was asleep in his chair. I gently woke him and we talked. When they brought his lunch I cut up his food and fed him. It seemed like a holy moment. He ate well and offered me his eclair. Against my better judgment, I ate it. I asked him if he wanted to get in his wheelchair and go for a walk. My father is six feet, two inches tall and weighs about 250 pounds. It was almost more than I could handle getting him out of his chair and into a wheelchair. Like most elderly people, he is terrified of falling. Eventually, we made it and I wheeled him around the home. He seemed to enjoy it. Even though he has Alzheimer's, and his mind moves slowly, he knew who I was, and that he has been away from home for quite a while. In my judgment, he is more affected by the Parkinson's. As I drove home in the rain, I found myself crying as I thought about him. It is painful to see him like this. My dad was always a very active and physical man. He loved his yard work and gardening. Weather permitting he spent more time outdoors than indoors. He is a simple man and reminds me of some of the old monks at the monastery. This coming Friday he will be 83 years old. He was 26 years old when I was born. In the evening my wife, son, and I took my soon to be 85 year old mother in law to dinner. Physically, she's better off than my father but not by much. Being around aging parents, one gets lessons in patience and compassion.

Here's a quote from my wife in response to last Friday's daily thoughts in which I mentioned my tendency to procrastinate.

"I hate to tell you this my dear. You make a procrastinator look like they have ADD".

Here's a quote from Chloe.

"Trees look like broccoli and cauliflower".

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