Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just Another Day

Dad's calm, sweet, and quiet mood the past two months have been a blessing. I'm not sure it's going to stay that way for long though. He was pretty anxious today and we got a few calls even though I told him that I would be there in a couple of hours to see him. Today I would say I was something of a 'Dad whisperer' because I'm not sure what I said to him, but his mood changed and he was incredibly happy.

Upon arriving, I was greeted by staff members who said my timing was perfect because Dad wouldn't participate in the exercises due to the fact that he wanted to talk to me, so he had wandered over to his room by himself. When I saw him, he was in the middle of buttoning up a short-sleeve Hawaiian shirt that he had put over his long-sleeve sweater. He looked ridiculous. I guess he thought that would keep him warm? (don't worry, I took it off of him)

Anyway, his room was locked AGAIN. I'm not sure why they keep locking it and I told two people today to unlock it because it makes him upset. After depositing the Hawaiian shirt in his room, we made our way outside to the garden because truthfully, I'm so obsessed with the perfect amount of sunshine that pours in through the trees and the peacefulness of sitting on a bench and looking at the flowers (although when Dad's anxious, he can sometimes ruin the peacefulness).

Dad says the usual: he's locked in, needs a job, and wants to see family. Then he seemed concerned about me and said, "I couldn't find you. I was thinking I hope you didn't get hit by a car or puked a monkey." YES! That is what he said. Puked a Monkey. That has got to be one of the most inventive and odd things Dad has said to date.

We were just talking about random things, when Dad asked me, "Are they going to do that here?" (pointing to Whittier Place). And I thought... do what? What were we just talking about? Because the question made no sense. Should I ask him to elaborate? What should my answer be? What will make him happy? So I tentatively said, "yes...?". Hallelujah! That was the right answer because he was so happy and in awe of the entire place. I have no idea what he was so happy about, but whatever works. He even said that he wanted to stay at Whittier Place. So, you can see how I was a "Dad whisperer" right?

Later I told Dad, "Okay, you want to go somewhere, that's fine, but you don't have a car, so you can call up Me or Megan and we'll take you. No problem." Then Dad said, "I used to have a car. At my age I probably can't get one? Okay, well that's probably the right thing to do." He was laughing and joking around and saying that he was so happy.

Before I left, we called Dad's brother Doug and they had a great conversation. Dad is pretty adamant about seeing Doug, but I'm not sure they'll ever get to see each other again. Doug doesn't really travel much and it might be too difficult to take Dad on a trip to northern California to see his brother who we have never met. It's kind of awkward.

On my way out, I dropped him off at the activities room where everyone was sitting around in a circle. Suddenly, Dad started dancing and singing along with the song,
"Love and Marriage", that was playing in the background. When I left I could hear them all laughing and teasing Dad. He loves that stuff.

Hopefully my conversation with Dad today keeps him in high spirits the next couple of days.