I arrived yesterday. He lit up like a Christmas tree--you know the kind, the one's with big, gaudy, colorful bulbs. (Dad never liked these overly large lights. He's more of a subtle, white-twinkly-light-and-uniform tree kind of guy. But even that changes. Sorry, I digress!) I did not tell Dad that I was flying in from Washington, DC for a visit. The surprise was divine.
Our time together is short this visit, but filling. Even the quiet times like at the beach today were immensely rich. Though he couldn't walk on the sand, he could see the surf and birds from his plastic vantage point and read the paper away from the home where he resides. ("Home" seems such an odd word for where he lives these days, it almost feels like taking God's name in vain. There is very little that is home-like for him.) Both of us have enjoyed several meals out together, talked about simple things--those subjects that are "right now" while I fill-in the gaps that are either forgotten or not quite accessible to Dad's changing biology. We've watched lots of people and held hands wherever we've ended up sitting for long periods of time. Believe me, there have been plenty of those periods!
Tomorrow I return to the rush of DC and to making plans for my next trip south. I like this "forgetting, forgiving and loving"...I highly recommend it for those of us who are fortunate to have a parent or both parents who are still with us. There is always time for love, if you'll make it. I have--and it's made all the difference.