Sunday, September 10, 2006

Reestablishing my purpose

It's fine to have as a purpose to this blog a place to put the words I have but that don't fit in the current work-in-progress, otherwise known as the wip. It's fun for me to sit down and "warm up" my writing by posting whatever random thoughts have coursed through my mind that day. But I think I need a grander purpose also, so I am, two weeks into this, reworking my own rules.

My father has dementia. It has robbed my sister, myself, and his grandchildren of any meaningful relationship with him in his elder years. I chronicled my feelings quite clearly in this column I wrote in June 2006 for the North Texas e-News. I've had more feedback from it than from any other I've done. I am not alone in my frustration with this.

But sometimes, the everyday happenings with Daddy are funny. A friend from church works where he lives. He approached her the other day and asked if she knew his daughter, Kay Sisk. She told me in church this morning that she replied 'yes' with a smile. "Then," he said, "tell her to get her ass out here and bring me my clothes!"

This is humorous on so many levels. He has plenty of clothes out there. Half the time he and his roommate have switched them amongst themselves in their wardrobes. He has yet to be wearing his own jacket. The Maui baseball cap belongs to his roommate. It's disappeared as of late, so perhaps the man in the next bed has reclaimed his property.

Sometimes Daddy is insightful. I had blisters on my little toes the other day, the result of wearing a favorite pair of dress sandals that have never bothered me before. The man sitting on the bed rightfully informed me that I was wearing too many open-toed sandals and my feet were getting too fat. There is no answer to that.

Oftentimes, though, it is sad. Yesterday, after belaboring the fact that his business was doing okay and that he could afford to stay where he was, he asked what Velta was doing. Velta is my mother, who died 9 years ago. This is not the first time he has forgotten this rather salient fact, although usually it is Mother he has forgotten. He was stunned to learn that not only was she dead, but his second wife also. He couldn't recall either funeral, but I assured him he had attended.

So once a week, I want to write about Daddy and the world he lives in. Alas, we all have the potential to be there too.


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