Dad and I had strawberry ice cream together…

I talked to my doctor yesterday and, despite direct orders from my mom not to go out and see Dad yesterday, I had doctor’s orders to go and do just that to avoid regret, should anything happen.  So I went for a drive to blow the Fall leaves out of the back of my truck and ended up at Mom and Dad’s house!  I had bought some magazines for Dad to peruse in the hospital to pass the time, but since he wasn’t there, I took them out to him (they were already in the truck from the day before).  Dad was napping on the couch when I walked into the house and he woke up with a start when I closed the door.  He got himself woken up by telling me all about why he left AMA while I sat the magazines on the seat of his chair.  Dad’s speech was fine and his syntax and word usage were intact.  When he got up to walk, he had a slight limp on the right side, but otherwise he walked like he normally would.  He and I went outside and talked while he had a cigarette and then we went back inside.  “You want some ice cream?”  Sure, Dad.  He struggled a bit with the ice cream scoop in his right hand.  “I think this ice cream scoop is broken.”  He managed to get two scoops for me and two scoops for himself.  His hand was a bit weak.  We enjoyed our strawberry ice cream together in the living room.  Dad looked at the magazines that I had gotten him briefly.  “Whoa.  Look at the price on this!”  I thought you’d like it, Dad.  I decided I would let him rest and gave him a big hug, telling him I love him.  “I love you, too.”  He followed me outside, surprisingly, and had another cigarette while talking to me.  He asked if he could see my engine.  I popped the hood and we looked inside at a mess of sensors, wires, and plastic covers that blocked all view of the engine itself.  Dad and I talked for another 45 minutes or so.  He was enjoying my company, and I enjoyed his.  I was glad that he was, for the most part, back to being “just Dad”.  I gave him another hug as the temperature began to drop because I knew he would get chilled and not be able to warm back up.  I hugged him tightly again and told him I loved him.  “I love you, too.”  I also told him, after I got in the truck, to make sure he called me if he needed anything.  “Oh, I will.”  Okay.  Love you, Daddy.  “Love you, too.”  I backed out of the driveway carefully and waved to him as I left.  He waved back with his right arm and hand, just as if the stroke had never happened.  I met my aunt coming up to see my dad as I got to the next block.  We stopped and talked briefly.  She said she’d had a smoke with him that morning and had been trying not to make it obvious that she was checking on him.  I told her about blowing the leaves out of the back of my truck, which was the truth…with an ulterior motive.  I had enjoyed my hour and a half with Dad, and was truly grateful that he was only hindered a little bit on that right side, which the day before had been paralyzed by the stroke.  I got back on the Interstate feeling good about our visit.  My dad had said he thought he wouldn’t tell my older brother because he’d worry.  I just gave Dad the thumbs up.  Marc, my older brother, called last night and we talked.  I assured him that Dad was okay and Marc reassured me that there’s nothing we can do but let Dad make his own decisions to try to relieve my stress over the whole situation.  “Hang in there, Sis.”  Marc always has a way of calming me down concerning Dad, not that Marc didn’t have a choice comment that he wanted me to relay to Dad regarding a butt-chewing when an appropriate time presented itself.  I went to bed happy last night, though exhausted, after watching my nephew Cullen and filling my younger brother Frank in on Dad’s condition as observed yesterday.  The day will come, but it wasn’t that day.

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