Its serendipitous that I should come across this unpublished blog post today…I was with my father one fine day in the spring and we had had a wonderful visit and I think I need to record this occasion somehow.
Three years ago, after a near fatal heart attack and an extended hospital stay, we, as a family, had to make the heart wrenching decision to place my father in an assisted living facility. It was a difficult decision, no one wanted to make and it went well against my Hispanic roots. We just wanted him home but the care was overwhelming for my mother.
Fast-forward to today and I can honestly say, he has adjusted well, although, it still breaks my mother’s heart on occasion. There are times I reflect on the shell of a man that has become my father. When he was well, he was larger then life, stuborn as a mule (maybe he hasn’t lost that trait). He is always good for an amusing story. I have often said to my husband: “I wish you spoke Spanish because my dad is hilarious…in Spanish”
When I saw him that day, he was in bed avoiding the dining room because he had not been feeling well. His blood pressure had dropped. All part of dealing with a failing heart. I tried in vain to coax him out of bed…(mind you, if I had to have dinner there, I must admit, I may not have wanted to eat either).
The thing is this…no matter his circumstances, my dad was smiling and laughing and trying to reassure me that he was fine. In fact, he was better then fine, he was, and I quote:
That is a tall order for a man that suffers from diabetes that blinded him 4 years ago. He is a triple bypass survivor and because of his weight, is in a wheelchair. His heart continues to challenge him everyday. He has fewer and fewer pleasures in life, he loved his computer but alas, his lack of sight, has taken that pleasure away. To add insult to injury, he was a banker first then a French chef de cuisine (as he would proudly say).
Good GREAT food is what he lived for (and alas his downfall) but now all he can do is dream about it.
I love my dad the most (THAT is what I tell him, every time I see him)…and in his 85th year, he is still teaching me a valuable lesson: love life…don’t worry…be happy!
So to you, my dear old man, I say: SWEET SWEET HUGS & KISSES FOR YOU, MY PAPIS…