Tuesday with Dad

Two brothers wake up before 5 a.m. They greet one another and read scriptures. By happenstance, they're both in Alma. The older balder one goes off to work. I grab a shower before Dad wakes up, for the fourth time since he went to bed. I offer a silent prayer of gratitude that my brother took care of Dad during the night as he woke those three times.

I take a shower and catch up on some work items for a little while. Soon a light comes on in Dad's room. He's getting dressed. He has his shirt on. He has a light jacket on. He has his socks and boots on. The pants are on the bed. I help him take his boots off and put his pants on. This is a daily thing for Mom. I reflect again on her heroism.

Dad asks repeatedly, "What's going on?" I respond with a variety of short and vague answers and assure him that everything is okay. We eat breakfast. I do a little more work and then we drive to town to see Mom. Every few minutes I remind Dad that he is my dad and that we're going to see Mom, "his wife, you're my dad." He seems pleased to learn this. I explain that Mom had a hip replaced and is recovering in the hospital.

We arrive at the hospital. It is designed to make the journey to the patient's room the longest possible walk in the single story building. Dad shuffle walks and I step slowly to keep pace. We make our way down one hall and then another.

We enter Mom's room and greet her, making introductions and Dad's smiles and kisses his wife, glad to meet her today and know that he has a beautiful wife. He asks if she's getting better. She assures him that she is. We chat more and Dad decides it's time to go. We stop at the men's room on the way out, just like we did yesterday.

The day passes with more work from my Dad's house. A few phone calls and a nursing change and a peanut butter and honey sandwich for lunch come and go. A little more work on my computer and afternoon has rolled in. Dad is getting antsy and I ask if he'd like to go for a drive. He's eager to go. I ask him to wait a few more minutes while I finish up some work. An hour later and having repeated the "few minutes" delay several times, we drive out into the country north of Blue Bell and make our way into town in a very round about way.

We repeat our trek to Mom's room. It's a nice visit. After a while Dad is ready to go. He says goodbye and as we walk down the hall to the men's room again, he cries and I reassure him that his wife is going to be just fine. His tears are gone by the time we get to the bathroom.

We make our way home and toodle around the house, waiting for my brother to bring us dinner, cooked by his wonderful wife. Rice pilaf, green beans, pork chops. Yummy. And before we eat, I am testing my blood sugar and say, "I'll test my blood and then we can have a blessing on the food."

Dad immediately begins to pray. Miraculously his mouth is opened and he is able to express to God a beautiful plea for blessings on the food and my brother and I exchange a brief word afterward about how remarkable this is.

Now we pass the evening with one of Dad's favorite movies, Astronaut Farmer, a story of impossible dreams. The story makes no sense and yet tells us so much about what we need to know about living in a world that tells us what we can and cannot do.

Today was a good day. Hard but good.

Tomorrow is another day.