As each day passes by, Pops struggles to keep his mind straight, trying to remember what he’s doing or how to complete the task at hand. Depending on the moment, is what defines his experience, he can be completely coherent or lost to the point of frustration. It’s comical at times, like last week when I gave him his inhaler to take his morning puffs and he was so confused that he thought it was the remote and tried to change the channel. I laughed at how adorable he was and then explained what it was really for.
It also comes with new worries, taking us into the role of parents and he’s our child. Sometimes he isn’t able to figure our how to call us, so now we have a door bell button for him to push and plan to get a baby monitor just so we can keep an eye on him.
The toughest though, is the glimpse of what’s to come….he won’t know it’s me. Pops turned 75 this Saturday, and friends and family were calling him to say Happy Birthday. Mitch’s sister, Cindy, was on the phone with Dad when I went over to his place and he was saying, “ok baabay”, a name he calls me in a tone that he uses with me. He said good bye and I asked him who it was, and he said, “That was Shawna…yeah, I’m pretty sure…, that was Shawna.” I said, “Papa, how can that be me when I’m right here?” He was completely confused, and said, “I don’t know, she sounded like you.” I played it off and consoled him saying, “Well Pops, people say her and I look alike, so it wouldn’t be too far off if we sounded alike too! Plus we both love you big bunches.” Truth be told, my heart sunk, tears welled up in my eyes and I got a lump in my throat, knowing that he’s not going to get better. I take a couple deep breathes, calm my fears of him not knowing me someday and remind myself that how ever it plays out, we’ll ride it out together, all three of us as a family, a team, based on faith and love.
Mitch and I wanted to do more for Pops birthday than just going out to dinner for his big 75, so we entertained the idea of going to Chuck E Cheese. The idea of playing air hockey, skeet ball and getting our pictures taken in the photo booth with Papa sounded like fun, until we thought about having to share that space with more than 50 screaming, running, possibly crying kids. Since Mitch had to work this Saturday me and Pops were to meet Mitch and a couple of friends at option # 2, Golden Corral, the best buffet in town. Before meeting our friends for dinner we stopped in at a Huckleberry’s/Rosauers, as I came driving up to the door to drop Pops off we see a handsome fella taking a ride.
Maybe we can make our own fun here!
Lets finish the fun and all of us get neck tattoos!
Best time ever at a grocery store, thanks Rousauers!
The waiters came and sang Happy Birthday to Pops, we stuffed ourselves silly and cherished the quality time we got to spend together with friends.