Post Father’s Day

“Hi daddy.”

“Well, hi!” my dad beamed. Oh, good he is having a good day.

I was wrong.  Last week was a good visit, but he has slipped back today to his shadow world.  Part present, mostly not.  I go along with the things that don’t make sense and calmly tell him “he owns restaurants” when he asks what my husband does for a living.

“Is that right?” he says with a gentle trace of his Southern roots.

He doesn’t seem to notice Rex. This is a depressing Father’s Day. I prefer the kind with “let’s get daddy some bagels and put his socks away for him” that I had left in order to come here.

I glance at pictures of my dad on the wall of his rooms then see him as he is now.  I suffer a cognitive dissonance.  My dad would hate this.

Two articles in the NY Times are very relatable.  Sunday’s about how by installing a pacemaker in the author’s father extended his life and made he and his family miserable.  I think the themes will resonate with others.  Life extension is not always quality of life extension.   This morning about delirium in the elderly in hospitals on the rise was right out of our life.  It’s his hospitalizations that accelerated my dad’s fall.

Here is the dad I always knew.  Out to dinner a few years ago with my sisters and our cousin Margo. The guy in this picture would not want to be the guy I saw yesterday.

Love you daddy.

4 thoughts on “Post Father’s Day

  1. I’m sorry you’re under this strain. Lately I’ve become too aware of these negative sides of life (actually had a newborn die). And, does the rainbow ever come back?

  2. Hi Daphne, I know this type of Father’s Day well. We had 6 of them before Daddy passed away last August. I was very blue on Sunday, missing my father in a more final way than the years of dementia limbo allowed. It is so hard to watch someone decline into a state of being that they wouldn’t appreciate – or may even have expressed specific strong opinions against. But I don’t know how I could have let him go any sooner. Sorry that I don’t have any particular words of wisdom but I’m thinking of you and hoping for more good visits for you and your dad. They outlast the bad in memory I assure you.

  3. HI Daphne,
    I so sorry your missing your Dad.
    This Father’s Day was hard for me as well. I lost my Dad June 8th. He battled brain cancer for 5 years and a few months ago he decided he was done with all the invasive treatments. It was a very swift decline, and I suppose it’s a blessing he didn’t linger. Like your Dad, he was very lively and a slow decline would have been terrible.
    Thank you for sharing your story, and allowing me to tell you mine.

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