It took nearly 63 years but as I stared into the cloudy blue eyes of my 85 year old Father and asked him who I was he said quietly he didn’t know. I knew right then my Father had left this world in spirit. I showed him a picture of my Mother and he in younger days he recognized himself but didn’t know who the woman was who stood by his side thick or thin for one day short of 50 years of marriage. His body still occupies space and he still enjoys every morsel of food but other than that Elvis has left the building.
When I played “The Summer Wind” and told him the singer was Frank Sinatra, Old Blue Eyes (His favorite crooner) he said: It doesn’t sound like Sinatra. I was nonplussed. There was no need for self-recrimination because I had said everything I needed to tell him some 4 years earlier when he had some cognitive function left. When your loved one doesn’t know they don’t know the only thing left are prayers. I petition my Mother gone some 14 years now to please take our Dad back to her side.
My beloved sister took care of him in her home for nearly a year and for the life of me I don’t know how she mustered the strength to do it. She had a little help from my “Solid Like a Rock” brother in law but even still the Herculean task was a rock not many could budge. My sister is an angel incarnate on earth but even her loving care was no match for Father Time.
At Christmas dinner after he had downed an exquisite meal my younger sister had prepared he then asked the young man next to him that had picked him up from the Nursing Home if he might take him back if it was convenient. That young man was his Grandson but he had no idea who he was either.
Time heals all wounds and now it's time to say goodbye.