Monday, February 17, 2014

No More

Valentine's Day was always special with Dad. He would buy us each a card, a box of chocolates and a tiny whimsical stuffed animal.

We visited Dad on Friday at his adult living home. He was sitting on the couch next to a woman who used to be his sworn enemy just months ago. The two of them were talking and laughing. 

"He's having an off day," the house manager indicated to us as we sat down. I noted that Dad had paired a fancy dress shirt with his flannel pajama bottoms. The socks matched, I will say that. Dad had a glass of wine in one hand. He asked us how the drive was from Florida!

The medication woman came around. "No," Dad said. "I'm not taking that." She tried her best to talk him into it. But Dad was steadfast. After she went away, Dad turned to me and said softly, "They're not helping. I'm not taking them anymore." 

sapphoq on life

Thursday, February 06, 2014


     In his younger days, back before I was thought of, Dad was into motorcycles and motocross. He liked riding around with some buddies. He liked racing and he was good at it. I don't remember him ever riding a motorcycle. I knew he had no problems on the little mopeds in Bermuda. And I knew that he had gotten an International Driver's License. So I was surprised to find out [when watching motocross on television together one day] that he was into motocross. He was also in an organization of motorcyclists. The club had its own tracks to ride around on [in preparation for motocross races? I don't really know]. And the guys did go ramming around together on weekends to various dances and things. 

    I knew that Dad was good at dancing. He had been a dance studio instructor [before I was born I think] at one time for Arthur Murray Studios. Dad taught me how to dance some waltzes and swings in a large room in a club. I don't remember the name of the place now-- just that it was on the second floor of a very large building with big windows overlooking some water. Dad kept telling me that the guy was supposed to lead. That was something that I finally learned with difficulty. But dancing with Dad was great fun. I had and have a natural rhythm at it and am good enough for someone who is not a professional. I pick up dances easily. One of my most treasured memories was dancing with my father at my wedding.

     Dad and his wives entered and won dance contests at various clubs and cruises. He was that good. I was proud of that. I would have liked to have known Dad in his motorcycle days but I didn't. He did take me to some car races as a kid. I prefer things like tractor pulls and cars smashing into each other on a track to a straight race.

      Shortly after arriving at assisted living, Dad did teach a few of the old folks living with him some dance steps. His most successful pupil was a woman who had a bum leg. With his encouragement, she was soon dancing in spite of her leg.

     All of those things are gone now. Dad cannot drive. And the Lewey Body Dementia has now progressed to the point where ambulation is difficult and dancing is impossible.

sapphoq on life says: Appreciate what you and others can do today. None of us know when those abilities will be gone.