I went to visit my dad yesterday. I was just there a little over two weeks ago, but I went again because my mom’s in Florida now. I don’t like that she leaves him in a nursing home to go spend 3-4 months in Florida (I can’t imagine leaving my husband in a nursing home while I go away for 3-4 months), but maybe I should get over it because 1) I’m not going to change her; and 2) even though he takes a turn for the worst before she goes, he’s often better once she’s actually gone! Yesterday was no exception.

Yesterday was one of the nicer visits I’ve had with him in a long time. He stayed awake the whole time I was there; he was alert; he wasn’t depressed; and we talked. We talked the whole time I was there…and we had an actual conversation (in other words, I didn’t have to carry the conversation…it was a back and forth dialog. He listened to what I said, responded etc.). We were having such a nice time I really wished I could’ve stayed longer. The time just flew (I almost NEVER say that…visiting my dad is usually pretty painful).

He wants to write his memoirs. He’s always been something of a storyteller, entertaining people with tall tales he makes up (he once had an entire bus load of people convinced there was such a thing as a “cherapple”) as well as real-life adventures he’s experienced (he and my mother have traveled all over the world). He wants to write some of these stories down, but since he is wheelchair bound and entirely paralyzed on one side, he can’t write. Or type. So I told him I’d bring my laptop next time and he could tell his stories and I’d transcribe them. He says he’s not sure he’s “ready” to do that, but considering he also says he’s seen and spoken to my grandfather (my grandfather died in 1977) several times in the last few years…apparently this last time was when he wasn’t doing too well. Grandpa told him to relax and to “come on over.” I think I better get these stories written down while I can.

If only he wasn’t so far away…I spend more than twice as much time on the road as I actually spend with him. I think next time I’ll stay overnight.


Dad

7 thoughts on “Dad

  • January 16, 2008 at 9:20 pm
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    How sad. I managed to get my dad to tell a few stories of his life, but it was only by taking a mini-recorder along and setting it in an inconspicuous place near him. He was self-conscious at first, but quickly forgot about the tape once he really got going. That might work better, if there isn’t a lot of noise around to decrease quality.

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    • January 17, 2008 at 6:50 pm
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      Mini-recorder! There’s another idea. Then I can focus on him rather than on my typing.

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  • January 16, 2008 at 9:39 pm
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    I wonder if the presence of the laptop (with you typing, of course!) might really open things up for him. You might just bring it along next time and see what happens.

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    • January 17, 2008 at 6:50 pm
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      I’m hoping so. I know he can’t type…and he’s at that stage where he wants his life to have meant something. I think he’s hoping that recording his stories will do that.

      Reply
  • January 17, 2008 at 1:03 pm
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    Dori, I’m so happy you actually had a good, back-and-forth visit with your father. I wish you luck helping him with his life story! What a fun project for you two to work on together.

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  • January 17, 2008 at 6:51 pm
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    Re: iPod

    I don’t have an iPod…I have a pocket PC, though. I could get a microphone for it. Or I could use a mini recorder.

    Reply

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