Travels with Dad
—-This is a story of a complex relationship with my father, Al, who I came to love and understand after he was diagnosed with dementia.—-
When I signed up to take my father, Al, on weekends, I had no idea what I was signing up for. I actually only intended to take him off my mother’s hands one time….to give her a break for a day.
My mother had reluctantly retired. She realized that she needed to provide more supervision to my father than she was able to do while working full time. Although this allowed her to put her mind at ease about what he had been doing without close surveillance, it also pretty near became her whole world, in a short amount of time. She needed a break.
The conversation for the plan went something like this:
Me: I’ll come get him and take him somewhere on Saturday. Do you have any suggestions?
Mom: No, but that’s OK, you don’t have to do that.
Me: Why, do you think he won’t go with me?
Mom: I don’t know….maybe.
Me: OK….I’ll be there around 10 am. We’ll see what happens.
So, it was settled. I just scheduled myself to pick my father up and take him somewhere, anywhere. I guess I was in charge now, even though I had no idea of how to be the “boss” of my father. Turns out, it was pretty easy….but more on that later.
I knew that he loved to “GO”, go anywhere. This is what he had been doing during his retirement….getting in the car and going.
So, I arrived that morning only to be pleasantly surprised that when I said to him, “Come on, do you want to go for a ride?” He jumped up and headed out the door. My mother and I just looked at each other and laughed.
This first of many “Weekends with Al” excursions had started without a hitch.