Sunday, June 19, 2011

I spoke to my father today

and the conversation went like this:

Me: [Cheerful] Hi dad! [In the background, I can hear mom explaining who I am to dad.]
Dad: [Breathing]
Me: [Still cheerful] I just called to say happy Father's Day!
Dad: [Breathing]
Me: [Beginning to crumble a little] I love you, dad. I'll talk to you again later.
Dad: [Breathing] OK.
Mom: [Takes back the phone]

Now, my younger sister had given me a heads up as far as what to expect from dad so I wasn't surprised. Also, his conversation skills on the phone had been limited to about 30 seconds to one minute this last year or so, but this was clearly the next phase in his Alzheimer's progression.

As sad as this was, I took the fact that he responded to my "I love you" with "OK" as a win. Normally (and by "normally" I mean back when he used to know who I was) his response to "I love you." was "Same here."

He's only ever told me "I love you" about three or four times my whole life, so that "OK", that acknowledgement of my existence on the phone, was good enough for me. I'll take it. How far have we come that listening to my father breathe at me on the phone and say OK is all I need from him? To know, logically, that this is the normal progression for Alzheimer's victims, and to accept it are two very different things.

I can't help but hope that if there is a heaven, that dad will get all of his memories back when he dies, and can remember that we loved him. So very much.

Happy Father's Day, dad.


Matt said...

Tracy, it's hard, I know. I went through almost exactly the same thing with my mother. I think the most important thing to remember is that you're reaching out to your family and your dad no matter what with love.
You know we're here 24/7 if you ever need anything or just someone to blab to.

Anonymous said...

I am not going to cry... I am not going to cry.

It is hard, but like I said before: you take the 30 second conversations, because a year from now you won't even have that.
I hate being right.

30 seconds seems like an insignificant amount of time, you can't even pee in 30 seconds! (lol).
But, as we see time and time again, it's all it takes to change your entire life.

Cousin Janet from NY said...

So sad, Tracy, I don't know which is sadder. Losing your father suddenly one day (like I did) or watching him fade away like you are. I guess it doesn't matter. It's so sad losing your father no matter how. I'm sure he will know for eternity how much you and your family love him. See you soon... in New York!!!!!!!!!!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...