A Different Sort of Father's Day...

Today is Father's Day.

I am so thankful for my own father  - who taught by his words and his example what I should look for in a husband to become the father of my children.  
And who continues to be a daddy to me - because a girl always needs her daddy.
And I'm thankful for my father in law, who taught his son by his words and his example how to be a great daddy and who continues to offer support and guidance and wisdom from his experiences.
And I'm thankful for R - 
a Daddy who knows how to work hard and play harder.  A daddy who loves his kiddos and isn't afraid to say so.  A Daddy who teaches by his words and his example.  
And I'm thankful for the kiddos who made him a Daddy.

Last night, as I tucked Will in, he reminded me of the importance of the next day saying, 
"Mommy.  Please tell Daddy that tomorrow is all about him.  It's not about me or you or Ellie."

As much as possible, we've spent the day doing regular family things - but trying to emphasize our thankfulness for Daddy.
We've had special meals.  We attended church.  We baked Daddy's favorite cookies together.  Some of us took naps.  Daddy took his kiddos swimming.  
They've played hard and celebrated all things Daddy.

(I don't know how I missed getting any pictures today with R & his daughter.  Actually, I do know.  I'm distracted.  Sorry - I promise he spent lots of quality time with her too.)

For one of R's gifts, I interviewed Will & then I framed his answers for Daddy's office.  I think it will make him smile and laugh even at work sometimes.
Here's the interview:

1.  What makes Daddy happy?  When I give him presents.
2.  What makes Daddy sad?  Not letting him watch cartoons. (ha)
3.  How old is Daddy?  45.  Is he 45?  Or 65?  (ha.  Neither.  Way way off.)
4.  How tall is Daddy?  11 inches
5.  What does Daddy do when you are asleep?  run errands and work and watch tv (I didn't know he was running errands... I should start giving him a list for mine!)
6.  What was Daddy like as a kid?  I don't know that.  Maybe he watched Batman.
7.  How does Daddy make you laugh?  When we joke and play "Hi, Tired or Hi, Hungry."
8.  What is Daddy's favorite thing to do?  Play with me.
9.  What is Daddy really good at?  Wrestlemania
10.  What is Daddy not very good at?  drinking applejuice (?)
11.  What makes you proud of Daddy?  When he wins wrestlemania.
12.  If Daddy were a superhero, who would he be?  Ironman.  Or I think maybe the Incredible Hulk!
13.  What makes Daddy proud of you?  When I read and draw and go places with new people.
14.  What does Daddy do for his job?  Reads.
15.  What do you and Daddy do together?  Wrestlemania and "stiff as a board" in the pool
16.  How are you and Daddy the same and different?  We have the same boxers and eyes and some of our boxers are different.
17.  What has Daddy taught you?  "stiff as a board" and bike riding
18.  How do you know Daddy loves you?
Because he always tells me that.

I'm out of words this week.  I just can't seem to find any.  And I can't seem to find the time to sit down and blog.  
My grandfather has battled Alzheimer's for a long time.  Last week, while we worried about fires near my brother's home, my grandfather was transferred to Hospice.  Conveniently for me, Hospice is located just behind my neighborhood.  
In the middle of the week, nurses and doctors began to predict that he likely wouldn't survive the day.  He is still here.  Despite all science pointing to the contrary, he keeps hanging on barely.
He is comfortable and resting peacefully.
We've been going up there numerous times a day - sometimes rushing because we think he is close to the end... other times just dropping by to deliver a meal to my parents or to say hi.
I've said "goodbye" to my grandfather countless times.
(With Alzheimer's, I guess I've been saying goodbye for years.)
When I kiss his forehead, he smells the way I remember him smelling when I was a little girl.

Yesterday, he perked up briefly (this often happens at the end of one's life) & he said "hi" to Will.  He seemed to follow us with his eyes and tightly gripped our hands.
Will has no fear of death.  He loves Hospice and although he has already visited three loved ones there,  he sees it as a happy place - where you go before you go to Heaven.
In fact, though we have been careful with our words, he woke up yesterday asking if Grandpa would go to Heaven soon.  And then he insisted on going to see him and tell him hi.
He talks trains with him.
Grandpa long ago forgot who I was.  But for some reason it wasn't until more recently that he no longer knew Will.  They always had a special bond.
And Ellie (named for my dad's mom) just waves and says "hi" and "bye" and "night night" because he is always asleep.

But I guess for me, it's really, really, really, unbearably almost hard to watch my dad say goodbye to his dad.  
And it's father's day.
My dad lost his mom when he was in college to Lupus.  
It's gut wrenching to imagine him soon having said goodbye to both of his parents.
I told my dad today, 
"Happy Worst Father's Day ever."

My heart hurts the most for him.  He sits hour after hour and through the night, clenching his dad's hand  and waiting. 
And I hurt for my dad today.

And that is why I am distracted this week and out of words.

4 thoughts:

Mike and Christie said...

Oh my heart goes out to you and your family.:(

gtown1 said...

My grandmother (Dad's Mom) in Memphis area now has Alzheimer's and is an Alz. facility/ assisted living just very sad all the way around. So sorry for your pain and hurt. With our situation...we are prepared for her to go and be with her husband and her son (my Dad) because quality of life just seems to be so depressing. I hope you all share precious, sweet moments together this week. Very fortunate he is so close--I rarely get to see my grandmother and feel guilty because of that.
Love, EJ

shae said...

katie--sorry it has been such a difficult week. i just love your dad and hope you will tell him i am thinking about him. such a heart breaking time and a hard (but not forever) good-bye. love to the family!!

ywilbur said...

Father's day is a bust in my family. My father was an orphan who died when I was 10 and my mother's father died when she was a child. My son's are adopted (by me a single mom). But, it is not really a sad or difficult time for us, just a non-holiday. Sorry for your pain.

I'll admit that Alzheimer's is a disease I fear. Not that it runs in my family and I don't know anyone personally with it but it scares me to think about.

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