Some trees didn’t make it through the summer. I took a blurry photo of a Blue Jay on this same tree last March. My father resented Blue Jays because of their unmerciful attacks on his cats. The memory of him trying to guard them under the maple tree in the back yard made me smile.
Visiting my Dad causes emotions to surface that I’m not happy about. I can’t describe my upcoming visit as a feeling of dread, actually. It’s more like feeling sadly apprehensive. Twelve years of seeing him either sit in a wheelchair or lay in his bed is so painful and it doesn’t get easier. A year has passed since he moved to the nursing home… my God, I wish there was a better life for him.
Each time I sit with him, I look at his palsied, stiff hands and dream of putting my hand on his as an invitation to magically get up and dance to some funky beat – to get up and swing each other around like we used to, snapping our fingers and laughing. It's been so long...
As I walked yesterday through the dry, warm fields and woods, I thought about things I might say or show him that would brighten his day. He’s not much of a conversationalist, with standard replies of No, Yes, or Thank You. It makes for awkward visits, really. Often, his comments sound like gibberish. I smile widely and nod as my reply, even if my heart is breaking.
He always loved to take car rides and never hesitated to stop and see something new or unusual. Maybe I inherited his compulsive trait, as he would stop the car to see a Great Blue Heron like I did last February.
Yesterday, I saw a cat sitting vigilantly in the same spot, like the Heron did six months ago. (Click to enlarge these photos.)
While Mom was hospitalized I cared for Dad occasionally. He was impressed with my vacuum cleaning ability and called me a “white tornado”. For this upcoming visit, I think I’ll print out this post and show & tell him some things about me that he doesn’t know. Dad loves the arts. He sang often, played the piano and guitar, and loved to draw. He might like my photos, at least for a moment or two.
He hasn’t met the dogs so I’ll tell him a few stories
He might say, “What’s a Cedar Waxwing?”
Dad probably won’t understand my blog or my interest in photographing nature and
my short stories might cause him to doze. But I’ll be there to wish him sweet dreams.
Update: It's raining!
Please say a prayer for Lynne at Hasty Brook’s Mom who is in critical condition after suffering a fall earlier this week.