“Mom, this is the definition of for better or worse!” I quipped at my mother who was passing through the kitchen after checking on my dad.
She quipped right back, “You sure got that right!” She continued on her way.
In early August, my Dad spent a few weeks in the hospital. His cardiologist had one last drip he wanted to try to strengthen my Dad’s heart. It didn’t work. Despite his best intentions and my father’s optimism, the attempted drip resulted in a weakened body and five weeks in a nursing home.
On September 14, my Dad was “released” and returned to the home he built. The home where he and my mom raised their family of six.
The past two weeks with my Dad at home have been filled with laughs, tears, frustration, wonder, and yes, surprises. Our family of 19 now share daily reports of the goings on with The Big Guy…who is actually not so big anymore. We do our best to weave humor and sarcasm in to our texts. It helps us keep perspective, appreciation and realistic hope.
The family group chat reveals pictures like this :
Accompanied with this text from my sister in law and my my mom, “This is what we woke up to!”
On the receiving end of this picture, I smile and think “Go Dad! Guess you were hungry!”
Then yesterday, after a restful day of sleeping, my mom texts us all that she is taking The BigLittle Guy for a ride around town and then for ice cream, “He insists!!!”, she includes in her text.
The other day, I found myself home alone for twenty minutes. The late afternoon sun was shining on our patio. I grabbed my journal and knew I would use my time to sketch something in the backyard. I walked outside and turned towards the fireplace and was surprised to see so many roses in bloom. I spun a chair around and took in the roses in full fall bloom. I let my eye follow the lines of the petals and interwoven stalks and leaves. I let my eyes move to the backdrop of layered stones. I sat and sketched and wrote, “the roses reach for the rays”.
As I sketched and noticed, I thought about my Dad, The BigLittle Guy.
My dad continues to reach for life like the roses reach for the rays.