Two Dinners With Dad

On our way to the store, my Wife and I drove over yesterday afternoon to talk to Dad’s neighbor again, and Dad was home.  He had just gotten back from the cabin about an hour before we arrived.  We talked for a little while and then I offered to bring the kids over to help him with some yardwork that he was doing.  We returned half an hour later and dropped the kids off, then proceeded to the store.  When we were done, I called Dad after we were finished unloading.  At my wife’s suggestion, I asked if he wanted to go out to dinner with the kids and I.  I was planning on pizza, but when everyone was loaded, Dad suggested a Mexican place that the kids also like but he had never been to.  An unusual thing for Dad.

We had a nice dinner, and he enjoyed himself.  He had never had fried icecream before, and shared some of the kids.  We made arrangements for him to come by and see the results of a project that I’d been working on at the house.  He was going to a Memorial Day ceremony tomorrow morning, so i was to call him afterward.

I had to be up early, so I tried him well before the he would have left, to see if he’d be interested in taking the kids along.  His phone was still turned off, so I called back early this afternoon.  He didn’t answer the first several times that I called, but a few hours later I was able to get in touch.  Since our expected guests had canceled, I invited Dad over to dinner.  The last time that Dad was over ( with the exception of seeing him on the street) was more than a year ago. He accepted, and we had a nice visit and dinner.  We even sent some leftovers home with him.

What my Wife and I noticed was that Dad has changed a lot in the last year.  I noticed at the restaurant last night that his arms had gotten somewhat thin.  Dad has always been built like a marathon runner, but he seems to have lost muscle as well as weight.  He doesn’t look frail, at least not yet.  Dinner conversation was much more subdued from the last time he was over.  He would typically tell the kids stories from his life, which really don’t need embellishment to be very entertaining.  That spark was still there, but only really showed itself two or three times this evening.  His demeanor was very subdued.  It wasn’t like he was intentionally holding back, but that it was just not there.

It seemed like he has just gotten weary of dealing with everything.    Resigned to events and no longer willing to struggle against them.  This from a man who survived a form of cancer that kills the vast majority of people that get it – with an optimistic attitude and drive.  If I had to guess, I think he may have come to the realization that Mom will probably never be any better than she is now, and  that she is going to get worse.

Not pleasant thoughts, especially since Dad has virtually no support to speak of.

~ by namegoeshere on May 27, 2008.