I wish my dad was the way he was just a few years ago. In a short time of assisted living, he has put on weight and has become far less active. It was not an ideal choice, but after a health scare a couple of years ago, we thought this was the best place for him. When Vivien was younger, she was always game about visiting him. And the entire of the population of the place lights up when little kids or babies come to call.
But as she has gotten older, sometimes she doesn’t want to go. I understand it. I remember being a tad freaked by some of the people who lived with my grandma near the end of her life, and I was teenager. But my dad is with it and a visit from us really brightens his day.
My strategy is to act like it’s nothing at all to go to a place with lots of old people, some of whom are out of their tree. I always act like it’s the same as visiting any friend; this will be fun. Fortunately they have cookies and two fountains. And now I have a new helper: my dad’s typewriter.
Sure, I remember learning to type on a machine very similar to this one when I was in high school, but to Vivien, it’s an exciting and wondrous discovery: a machine that she can create letters with. And as she is now learning letters, it keeps her occupied. She had never seen a typewriter before. It helps her be engaged a bit with my dad’s environment instead of it being a chore to visit him, a feeling I am trying to keep at bay.
It’s probably how I felt when I saw my Georgia grandma’s sewing machine with a foot peddle. Necessities of one generations are a toy to the next. Her home seemed a tad exciting. But the ice tea and fried chicken were also a draw.