Some Father's Day Thoughts

It’s Father’s Day.  I am a father, but I don’t have one anymore.  There were some times when I didn’t have much of one, though things turned out okay.

My father died in 2017, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s and heart failure.  It had its humorous moments, as when he called each of us kids three or four times, each time breaking the news of his diagnosis as if it were new.  (“Well,” said my sister after about call #3, “I’m pretty sure they got this one right.”) 

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His decline could have been a lot worse.  Some people get nasty when they get dementia.  Some get nicer.  My dad, who generally had a fairly sunny disposition, got nicer.  Some people say that you get better or worse depending on which part of your brain gets eaten first; others say you get more like your basic nature.  I don’t know which is true, but it was a relief that he was generally – with only a few exceptions – pleasant and cooperative.  Taking him to medical appointments he was grateful for the ride, nice to the nurses and doctors, and happy to be taken to lunch afterward.

The day before he died I was sitting with him and he wasn’t talking much, when he suddenly opened his eyes and said quite clearly, “Glenn, you’re so generous in the way you relate to people.  I’ve always admired that.”  Then his eyes closed and his head flopped back and he was elsewhere again.  Those were the last spoken words I heard from him.  I suspect he had to work pretty hard to get them out, and I appreciated it.

Beege Welborn

I hope this doesn't come up as paywalled for you guys - it's really sweet.

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