We took our father today to get a referral for Hospice from the doctor. Of course he looked great , acted great , so we were a little surprised when it was approved. That is not unusual though. When we would take him to Emory to be examined for his Parkinson’s we thought he would do back flips down the hallway for his dexterity test and then leave in a wheelchair.
As a care giver I have to admit that this bothers me. It bothers me because whenever other people see him he puts his best foot forward and I don’t think they realize the struggle we go through daily just to try to make his quality of life a little better. Last weekend my brother and his wife came down for a visit in the morning which is not his best time of day. My sister in law was heartbroken because she has never seen TATA this bad before. But this is the way it is 70% of the time.
Today I have done absolutely everything I could think of to simply get my father to smile or even nod his head yes or no to a question. But nothing. No response or acknowledgement that he even heard me at all. In fact , my mother just told me that she wasn’t sure if Hospice was going to be needed. That he might pass on before they could get through the paperwork. Lo and behold my sister calls and says she is going to stop by on the way home from work.
Well TATA is out of bed sitting in a chair , animated . talking , eating and drinking. If they only knew the impact their visit has on him I don’t think a day would go by when one of them didn’t swing by on their way home just to say hello. They get the response I have begged and cajoled for all day just by walking in the room. And it happens every time.
If they only knew how truly rare those smiles and those few words are. If they only knew how hard we work to illicit just one smile a day or a few words a day. If they only knew what a relief it is to see him come alive even for just a few moments. If they only knew how unfair I feel it is that he gives freely to them what I can not get regardless how hard I try. If they only knew how much I love them and how grateful I am that they have the time to stop and make TATA smile. If they only knew…