I know people mean well. I am sure they want to let me know they care. But I almost wish they wouldn’t ask how Dad is doing. I hate not knowing how things are going on a day-to-day basis, and when they ask, it reminds me that I don’t have him close to me anymore.
Since he moved to Delaware 5 months ago, I have seen him only once and spoken to him just a handful of times. Each time Mom calls me when she is visiting him, she tells him who is on the phone and gives it to him. He seems to know who I am, but really has a hard time hearing me. Often, I can’t understand him either. It was so much easier to have conversations – as nonsensical as they were – when we were in the same place. So my understanding of how he is doing is pretty much limited to what mom tells me.
About a month ago, Mom told me that Dad was having some issues with pressure sores, and that the residence where he was had to transfer him to the skilled nursing unit there. The hope was that it was just temporary – until they could treat the sores – but the staff has since determined that he really needs more care than the memory unit could provide, so he has now officially moved into the nursing home part of Cadbury.
From what I understand, the sores are all healed, and he seems to be unperturbed by the move. It still makes me sad that the disease has progressed to this point, though. I also get angry at times – wanting to grab hold of him and find a time machine to take us back to a better time.
In a couple of weeks, I am flying to the East Coast for my high school reunion, and will be able to see Dad for a few hours the day I arrive. I wish I had the time to spend a few days with him. It is always a gamble as to whether he will be having a good day or a bad one, especially since I will be arriving in the afternoon and he tends to be better in the mornings. Once school is out, I hope to get back up there (maybe in June) when I can be there for longer.
In the meantime, I thank people for asking about him, let them know he is doing OK, and that I will know more after I get to see him in person. I hold on to the memories I have, knowing that I was lucky to have him as a dad. And I let myself grieve, knowing that I am, slowly, losing the most important man in my life.