Friday, October 17, 2008

A Daddy story

The other day while I was giving my Dad a hair cut he asked me a question. The following is how that went.

tt: I'm not going to buzz your hair b/c it's getting chilly and you'll need a bit of hair covering your head.
D: (chuckling) ok, whatever you think's best. Am I sitting right?
tt: yep...here we go.
minutes pass....................................................................
tt: Sorry Dad, I've got to get this bit of hair out of your ears.( he winced)
D: that's ok. Do you do this to Lovee?
tt: no, he cuts his own. I just check it afterwards.
D: Oh..........( pause )
D: Uh...tt, do you have hair under your arms?
tt: Ummmmmm,( chuckling ) yes, why?
D: You do?
tt: yea, Dad why?
D: well, because I do too. How do you get rid of it?
tt: What? I...uh.......shave.
D: You shave?...do you use and electric shaver?
tt: No, I use a safety razor. Why are you so interested in underarm hair Dad?
D: Well I noticed all this hair and I don't like it...it bothers me....I don't think it should be there.
tt: It's ok Dad. You're a guy and guys are allowed to have hair under their arms. It's only women who shave.
D: Really? Why's that?
tt: It's just the way things are. Guys can go outside w/o their shirts and they only have to shave their faces. Women have to wear a shirt, shave their legs and underarms and be more covered up.
D: really? ( looks confused)
tt: Yep, that's just the way things are, so you don't need to worry about shaving under your underarms.
D: Well, ok...but it bugs me.
tt: There, we're all finished...does it feel better to get those eyebrows cut too?
D: Yea, now I won't have to push them out of my eyes anymore. Not an electric shaver but a safety razor?
tt: yep.....but you don't need to do anything. It's perfectly ok for you to keep that hair under your arms.
D: Well, ok, but I don't think it should be there.
tt: I think Millionaire is on. Lets go watch it ok?
D: oh yea....your mother likes that. Thanks babe. Is the hair off of me now?
tt: yep.....
D: Ok...put my necklace back on then you can relax.
tt: ok, thanks Dad.
D: you're welcome babe...and thank you.

( he's worn a gold necklace for 20 years or so)

He shuffled off into the den, sat in his chair and started reading the paper. Again. The subject never came up again. I however, have been mulling it over and over.....
He no longer sees his leopards and tigers..........but is confused about body hair. At least he smiled when he talked about his animal friends. The hair...not so much. Total confusion.

I went upstairs later and saw his can of deodorant sitting on the vanity and got this whole mental picture thing about what probably happened. I'm thinking when he lifted his arm to spray, for some reason, he noticed the hair and got confused. He wondered how it got there. And whenever there's a question, ask tt. She'll know.

Mental decline is hard to watch. Especially when it's my Dad. Sisterlittle and I are both Daddy's girls.

Whenever we talk, his most frequently used line is " I just don't understand..............".
Mom doesn't understand a lot anymore either. Dad will often ask me to read an article in the paper. Mom wants me to read it outloud so she can hear it too. She's more blind than him and can't read anything anymore. So, I read. Afterwards, Dad often says " So, what does that mean?" We'll discuss it. He'll ask Mom what she thinks and she'll say" I don't know, my comprehension is really bad." Dad will mumble something about how his is too, about some
things.

It makes my heart hurt.

Lovee thinks it's only a matter of time before they'll want me to stay with them all the time. That's not an option for me to even think obout right now. I need to go home at night...be with my Lovee and be able to 'take my pack off'. I need the down time. I need time to let MY brain absorb everything that went on during the day. You know how my grape is.....I've got to put things in my graple storage boxes......sort them out....find space for all the nonscence stuff...
One day...........maybe...........but let's hope it's later rather than sooner.

Dad is playing golf today. It's Friday. He and his friends...one's 92 and the other is 85...play 9 holes. No one keeps score anymore. It's just for fun. :)
Mom gets her hair done while that's going on.
I sit and read magazines...wander around the shopping center....and think.

Hearts can take a beating can't they?
Yet, they keep going.

23 comments:

Real Live Lesbian said...

Yes, our hearts do take a beating.

I'm so sorry that you're going through this with both of your parents. It's tough for me to read, so I know it has to be tough for you.

Hugs to you. Stay strong.

The Real Life Fairy Tale Princess said...

It's so hard to watch someone you love start to lose pieces of themselves. But I think what is most important is making sure they are happy. When we see age take what we have known for so long, we often grieve for the loss... but just because they have changed, doesn't mean they can't be happy. Just enjoy the moments you have with them. Make as many smiles and memories as you possibly can. For them and for you!

CheekyMonkey said...

Ditto what the real life fairy tale princess said. It's really hard to understand and accept the changes they are going through, somehow makes them seem like a totally different person. But it's just reverse birth and just as they did what they could to make sure you were happy growing up, you're doing for them, as they grow...down? I Dunno. I think though that as long as they're happy and taken care of, that's whats important. Because sitting alone and miserable would be such an awful shame. They're lucky to have you tt. You really DO have the biggest heart and deserve the Biggest Heart Award and meluvsya!. MWAAHH!!

Gary Rith Pottery Blog said...

Oh my goodness, you are the best daughter on earth. It is wonderful you and your husband moved to the area to be of help and you're so supportive!
And I hope that as I reach 90 I can whack a ball around the course too...

kcinnova said...

This is a heart-touching post, tt. I'm glad you can be there for your folks, and that you can handle it with such grace.
My dad had a medical incident a year ago, and for several months he was way off his normal self. He would either rant away with vile language (he's a retired minister) or get all emotional and mushy. Well, I guess the vile language was emotional, too. All 4 kids live far away and we were trying to all compare notes, to figure out what was really happening. Anyhoo, the doc finally figured out the meds were causing it and he is stable now. All that to say, I do know some of what you are going through, with parents no longer being who they once were. It's a tough journey to walk. Don't be afraid to find a support group in your area for caregivers. And perhaps you can hire a nighttime caregiver, when the time comes? Because you've got to take care of yourself, too.
Hang in there!

Queen of no man's land said...

Ok. found you when you commented on the fairy princess blog and decided the following:

#1. YOU LIED IN YOUR PROFILE..I saw your picture,, you are SO not as old as you stated.. You are beautiful..

#2. YOU HAVE SO BEEN BLOG ROLLED..AND I will be snooping through your archives.

#3. I SO FEEL FOR YOU...It's so hard to watch.. you are a wonderful person to be with your parents through this.

#4. YOU ARE TALENTED.. I love your writing style.

#5. YOUR DESERVE.. to have a wonderful weekend.. so go for it..

Farmer*swife said...

OH MY...you brought tears to my eyes. I can only imagine. My Mom is younger but her body is way older and all of that often affects the brain.

My Daddy is doin' pretty well. My In-laws are aging. Still great, but I do dread one day when we start losing bits and pieces of them.

It is scary to face. It also reminds me often of my own mortality and the fact that I will be there....I'll be lucky to have lived so long though.

You are doing terrific! You are earning your wings, Gal. And, just invisioning a day with my own Mom sometimes -- gives me a small glimpse into the love, pain, and frustration you go through daily.

But, yes. You have to have some down time and you time. Keep being so wonderful!

Happy Friday! [Take a load off, have a V-T]!!!

;-)

Brad said...

My Mom's been ill with MS for many years. The physcal set backs have been difficult but managable. You just make certain allowances for things.

It's harder to watch her grapple with her memory and fail to remember. The hardest part is when she knows she should know, but it's just not there anymore.

Still, my dear. We both still have our dear parents. That's something to be sure.

Be well sistah-woman!

I luvs ya!

B

Jen said...

My heart hurt yesterday too.

Hope your heart is better today. Mine still causes my eyes to drip now and then. . .

tt said...

EVERyone:

All ya'll made my eyes leak..seriously.
But.......I'm not afraid... :)

and Jen...why you leaking?? :(

And the newbies....WELCOME!!!! I'm always needing more input...the grape demands it. :)

Jen said...

tt - wish I could talk about it, but I can't.

Anonymous said...

To TT

Seldom do I write my comments; rather, I read and absorb what's going through your mind and I pick up on things you may or may not have briefed me on at the end of YOUR day.

I am very proud of you and the manner you tackle each day with the parentals. You start positive and upbeat every day.

You have some truly caring, loving and understanding friends as evidenced by the blogg(bb)ers. You are blessed.


(To all TT's friends, thank you for helping her spirits and her grape. She cherishes your input and support you all care to share.)

TT - Your smile is beautiful and it's yours, not your mom's. I still see the woman I married. We all age and our weight either changes or gets re-distributed.. what matters is what's in our hearts.

I love you awful - forever and always............ r

Queen of no man's land said...

OMG is he not just the sweetest.... Pretty and Lucky.. wow woman.. you have the best of all worlds... and . of course.. you pass it back to those around you...

See,, my parents should have had you.... they'd be better off right about now.... I tried to tell them I was NOT the best choice for a daughter...NO ONE EVER LISTENS TO ME... I really am smart....or was that...smarta$$.. I always get that confused.

Sally said...

tt - I came through ginnie dee (The View From My Garden) and just wanted to add my 2 cents' worth. VERY moving post. I, too, like your writing style. And, for what it's worth, I took care of mom in my home for 3-1/2 yrs. before she died in '97 and I wish with all my heart that she was still here so I could do it again. I wish you peace and love and happiness. And know that your place in heaven is now reserved.

Dianne said...

hearts as big as yours tend to take a bigger beating - but they always recover.

I think it is lovely that Mom and Dad still try. And they talk to each other!!

You are beyond a good girl and I love you

Sunshine said...

aaawwww!!! Isn't Dad just the sweetest! :)

We love you Mom. Thank you for all that you do for the grandparents and for me. You have the biggest heart and I know you always will.

tt said...

Rll: thanks babe...I am a tough ol bird...I'll stay strong too...hugs back atcha :)

Fairy tale: memories is what it all comes down to isn't it. that's what I'm doing I guess and didn't even know it. Thanks for the comment :)

Cm: 'as they grow ...down:'...that actually cracked me up! So true tho isn't it. I love that everyone gives me another way to look at things. meluvsyatoo!!!!

Gary: you know you help with my sanity right? Seriously.
Thanks for the kind thoughts. xo

kcinnove: thanks doll. It is hard to watch but at the same time I feel honored to be a part of it all. I'm doing better at taking care of myself..thanks for your concern. :)

Queen: You so cracked me up..y even numbered your points..lol...you're going on my blogroll too. But, I'm not sure about my 'writing style'...I have one?? I didn't know cuss words and rants were a writing style...lol...I'll be reading ya...soon!

FW: what can I say...you always lift me up...and I'd have a V.T. if I could find some of that yummy Effen Vodka!! hugs!!!!!!!

Brad: I luvs ya too brother...I wish you the best of everything life has to offer...gentle squezzers to the Mom ;)
And YOU hang in there too.

Anon: Awww. Lovee....you are my rock...completely!!! Forever and Always my love!

Queen: I'm thinking you're a smart smart a$$ :)
Me too actually....When I was younger, I was always asking my parents if I was adopted. Seriously....I was the wild child and they loved my sister best...I thought they did anyway ;)
You're a crackerjack...
and yes, for some reason I got really lucky with finding my Lovee. He IS the best ever!!
hugs!

Sally: Oh my....you made my eyes leak again. thanks babe. I'm honored to meet you....and I'll be visiting you soon.

dianne: I love you too!!!

Sunshine: thanks babe...xoxoxox forever

CheekyMonkey said...

Dude, that's just wrong. Lovee made my eyes leak. He's so flippin sweet... YOU CAN"T DO THIS WHILE I"M AT WORK!

But omg... I love your rock. Just about as much as you. Sheesh, could you be more perfect for each other?

(Can I just say that "Always & forever" is me and Babe's. Seriously.
you are me, just not now, but later. CRAZY!

tt said...

yep....you get it. :)
Shania's song....Always and forever...that's us!!
Leakage isn't allowed at work...is it??

ETK said...

Oh TT, I love you so much. My heart just aches and aches and aches for how hard it must be for you to see your parents through this.

I wish I had the words. Something to make it better. Brighter. Anything.

I don't. But that most awesome wondering hunk of a man I call Dad sure does! Man, he loves you awful.

We all do.

Want me to quit my job and come live there and help you? I would you know.

PS - you and all the comments made my eyes leak something crazy. Why you gotta do that? huh?

I love you!

tt said...

ETK: love you back to infinity!!!
WE need to keep you working and earning points!!!! ha ha ha ha rofl!
No worries babe....it really is getting easier...may not sound like it but it is. My wonder family....every single menber of it..extended...'adopted'...birthed...married..surrogate...everyone who lives in my heart gets me through it.
See, you're already doing it...didn't you know?

Mwwahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!
xo

Michael M. said...

What an outstanding 'word picture'. My hat is off to you for your devotion and kindness...and willingness to share.

tt said...

Michael: thanks dude: I never thought of it as a 'word picture'...you're a very generous person.