Western education 2013

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

..... taking down a wish list....

..... tonight I popped in to see Dad on my way home from a long day at work.  It is getting cooler and the snap in the air is accompanied by the rain as I jump between puddles on my way tthrough the parking lot.  It is a typical late fall evening - dark, damp and windy.  I enter the home and make my way through the secured entrance.  Dad is standing in the middle of the dinning room just peering around.  The caregiver lets him know that he has a visitor.  'Ah Hello!'  He cracks a great big grin as he spins to face me and grabs me for a hug when I get closer.  He is so happy to see me, and I, him.  He has great color in his face tonight.  The gray in his face is fleeting now as he gains strength with each passing day.  He is moving better but still hunched over.  He will later tell me that his crooked pinkie finger on the right hand was broken by some bloke and he is still pissed about it.  A quick re-direct in a positive direction has us talking about art.  I ask him about the beautiful marble Greek Statues.  He loves Art and quickly falls into an easy candor with me.

Soon the distant glance and a chewed lip as he let's me in on his secret mission.  He needs a pad of paper and a good pen to write out his notes and I promise to bring him his requested items along with a brief to hold them in.  He describes the expensive waterway locks that are built just outside his window with their pristine white concrete walls.  I am sure he can smell the occasional ocean breezes of his youth as the experiences of a lifetime have slipped through the passage of time and blended with the present.  The wooden fence mere steps away has the look of driftwood on the 'shore' that runs along side the building.  He is here as an agent and I am sworn to secrecy.  No worries, as far as anyone knows Dad, you are here on some R&R and as long as the bill is footed, just sit back and take it all in.  He likes it here and finds serenity.... except for those darn people that he keeps finding in his room.  I tell him to just let them know that they can leave when you arrive, after all Dad, it is your room.  Be nice though, they might not realize that it is your room and be polite but firm when you ask them to move along.  Perhaps he is seeing the 'other side'.... I hope he is wrong when he abruptly declares that he won't be around for much longer.

A frail woman behind us is experiencing chest pains and has begun to panic in a high pitched tone.  I can hear the calmness of the caregiver as she administers what I believe to be nitro.  She is guided to a seat where she sits wide eyed and scared.... within a minute, she has forgotten the issue entirely and gets up to move on to wherever she was headed before being rudely interrupted.  Marie is really off her game this evening.  She is always drawn to me and will follow me around.  She takes solace in the hugs and smiles I offer her and then she too is shuffling off with her vacant stare.  Tonight she will be asked to fold laundry to keep her focused.  My Dad is tiring out and I need to head home for a meal. I have been gone since 7 am and it is now 7:15 pm.  I give my Dad a hug and a kiss and guide him next to Marie to help fold the napkins in the bottom of the basket now offered by the caregiver.  He is thrilled to help and meticulously folds the first one as I wave bye.  He calls to me that he loves me.  Love you too Dad, I offer back over my shoulder.  I am so glad you are here with me Dad.... and I know he is happy to be with us here.

Time to head up to bed... exhausted but happy.  Life is good.

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