“I’m so happy you are here,” I say to my Dad, gently kissing him on his cheek. “I am too. I am, too,” he replies reaching for his grand-kids. My daughter hugs him tightly. She is 2 1/2-years-old; and my son, 9-months-old. This is a penultimate to Honorific article which I wrote in July 2014. He made many trips to see us, but this was a trip my dad made 16 years ago. My kids are now, teenagers.
My daughter is standing up on an adjacent chair where my dad is sitting; her tiny body resting on my dad’s right shoulder. My dad is eating his breakfast. She’s watching him intently; now poking his cheeks, touching his head; then pulling his scarce hair; and finally, wanting to play with his food. She is trying to take his toast out of his hands. He let’s her take it. She dunks it in his tea! I react, “No, No, No!” My dad quickly comes to her defense, “Let her.” I step aside. I help my son eat his breakfast.
In focus, is my peripheral vision: The toast, all of it now, is drowned in his tea-cup. She is attempting to scoop it out with a spoon, only to splatter the content all over the table. I remain quiet. She puts the spoon down, but does not give up! She puts her fingers in the cup, and takes a bit of soggy toast out in her pincer grasp. A success! She feeds that to my dad. YUCK! He, lovingly, eats it. Patience and love, that was my dad. Once she was done, my dad gladly cleaned the mess.
Another beautiful sunny, warm, and breezy day. I look out the dining room window into our backyard and see my dad watching my daughter play in her sand pit. I’m so happy he is here! I notice him adjusting his thick eye-glasses, a few times. The breeze must be bothering his eyes.
It’s already evening, I’m making my way to the kitchen to fix dinner. I see my dad standing still in the hallway. I ask, “Is everything okay, dad?” He calmly says, “my vision seems blurry.” I’m nervous now; he then says his vision is good. I go on to make dinner. During dinner, we talk about the house-painters, who were coming to paint our house.
The house gets painted in two days. My dad seems happy with the paint job, “looks bright and beautiful,” he says. It’s also time for my dad to return home, in upstate NY. I live in the south. “Get your eyes checked, ASAP,” I remind him as we drive to the airport. He leaves. Tears roll down my eyes.
Life, after his visit, went on as usual for a few months. My dad’s eye-check-up went well. However, at his next eye-check-up, six months later, the doctor said he had to have an eye surgery. The ophthalmologist operated on both his eyes to save his vision. But, his vision did not return.
Life, for him, was in a dark place. He managed traveling with help, and came to “see” his grand kids. He kept his spirits up. He laughed and told us jokes while we sat together at the dinner table. I would let him know placement of food on his dinner plate – 12 o’clock was broccoli, 3 o’clock was bread, 6 o’clock chicken, and 9 o’clock potatoes, and so on.
Nine years had passed… “I’m a busy man, you know. My time flies, too. I THINK – all day long!” My dad would say to us, smiling, when he felt that we were feeling bad for him. My kids had grown older and taller; my dad, older and weaker. He continued living his life in peace, grace, and gratitude; and in deep darkness. A positive man in his core; my dad lived with great strength.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Companionable.”
…thanks for visiting my blog…until next time:)