Love of A Father

I just came back from another weekend with my dad. It’s so hard to see what dementia is doing to him. Despite that he and I have some awesome conversations and I’ve seen it a few times where I talk about things from my past and he jumps in to protect me. Yesterday we had a conversation and he told me if I ever get into trouble with anything that he had a spare room for me to go. He led me into the room and showed me and then into the bathroom and said no matter what I could come. It took me all I could not to cry. He told me again and often tells me how proud he is of me and that I’ve grown into an incredible woman.

This man has been in my life for a long time and I love him with all of my heart. He’s been with me through thick and thin. I love how he still wants to protect me even when I’m grown up. I love going and hanging out with him every 6 weeks. I cherish this time we have together. I hate what dementia is doing to him. Each time I go I see him more confused and he can’t understand why things are like they are. It breaks my heart to watch him struggle. I reassure him until the next thing he’s worried about. I watch him talk about where he lived in Winnipeg and today he told me he was going after breakfast to swim in the Red river. He thought he was back where he grew up as a boy. I listened and asked him questions and I pulled up a map of the street he lived on.

I saw lots of confusion after I took him out yesterday to get his watches fixed so he knew what day and date it was. When we got home he didn’t know where we were. He often said to me he didn’t know what was wrong with his mind. It’s so hard to watch. Despite all of that I have to take the good things out of it and cherish each moment with him. I will never regret any of the time we spend together and I try to make our time together the best. I see him struggling to figure out if he’s married at all. My mom has photos of them around her home so then he remembers and he’s really emotional and he tells me she’s his best friend, but he can’t figure out where she’s gone. My mom is grieving the loss of her husband and yes it effects me lots as well because here’s the dad I’ve dreamed of my whole life and I’m watching him slowly slip away. It was hard this weekend. Today was the hardest day.

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