My father came out to visit for the summer. It is such a blessing having him here. When he is at his home in California, I worry. I worry that he is alone. I worry that he isn't eating. I worry that I won't see him again.
Now that he is here I still worry, only not as much. I know he is safe, being taken care of, and not by himself. It is my pleasure to have him here with me - I don't want him to leave.
As a child I was so afraid of my dad. Not because he was abusive or mean. But because he was larger than life. He made me laugh. He was a tease. He loved to be teased back. He was fun to be with and easy to be with. So I suppose afraid wasn't the right word. I was more in awe of my father. I still am.
Now that he is over 80, he doesn't get around as easily as he once did. But he is still a tease. He loves to laugh and joke. He is still easy and fun to be with.
Having him here makes me wonder why so many seniors, our parents, end up in care homes. No, not those that need round the clock care or have special needs beyond the capabilities of family members. But those that just need a comfortable chair to sit in. Those that need a ride to the doctor, library, grocers. Those that can't do for themselves as they once could. I am thrilled and honored to do this for him.
He gave me so much during my youth that it is pleasing to me to be able to give back to him.
I hope he stays.