My long-time readers will remember my posts about my journey with my parents as my beloved Mom's earthly life came to an end. That was a little over 4 years ago now and most days her loss is bearable. Since she left us my Dad has aged tremendously. He is 91 years old now, and of course that is the primary reason he has aged; but losing his soul mate was a hard blow for him despite his crusty exterior.
He is an amazing man. At 91 he has a busier schedule than most of us have! His social calendar is full of physical activities that have kept his body strong and his mind sharp. He has been taking care of himself with some assistance from family since my mom left us.
There are big changes in the wind now....
He is forgetful these days. Not dementia, but forgetful. He repeats himself and forgets things he is told and things he tells us. He is forever losing things in the house. Keys, mail, have been misplaced sending him into a frenzy to find them. He struggles to remember basic things on the computer that he has done for years and is often unable to complete his computer work without a little help or reminder of how to do something. On a more serious note, he sometimes forgets his medicines which can have significant ramifications.
He is becoming frail. His active lifestyle has been a godsend, but it is obviously harder for him these days. He used to be tall and he is now about my height. He moves slowly and carefully, mindful that he is not physically the man he used to be. He sleeps a lot now, reliving days gone by in his dreams.
There are big changes in the wind....
It is too hard for him to manage the house now. His health issues are becoming more numerous and more frequent, evidence of the curse (Gen 3) on mankind for sin. It is clear his life is slowing down and winding down.
Watching him decide how much of his life to take to his new home is enlightening and horribly sad. All their lives my parents gathered and collected things for comfort and enjoyment in their old age. It is heart wrenching to watch him let go.
It is here I find sheets of rainy tears embedded in the winds of change...and the tears are mine
My childhood home, the only one I ever knew is going away. It has been a comfort in some respects to visit my dad there and see things as they have always been. Memories of my parents are there; endless summers of fun with my childhood friend in the backyard pool, family gatherings, weddings, Christmases, my high school memories, heartbreaks, proms, and the day I married (and divorced) are all ensconced in the fabric of those walls.
Each time I was there to care for my parents I slept in the bed and bedroom that was mine my whole life before marriage. That room saw many laughs, many tears, and much mischief.
My comforts, my touchstones, my connections to all my childhood memories are going away- to be packed up or sold off. Somehow, this is harder because I never expected it to unfold this way...