Friday, November 9, 2012

dad

Dad, 24 x 18, charcoal on paper
My father has dementia. Each time I talk to him, it seems he has less and less to contribute to the conversation. I believe he is genuinely happy to get my calls, to hear my voice, to laugh at my stories, to celebrate the precious moments of life.

But my rye observations about growing older no longer bring up his own commiserating stories. His stories are lost in the unnavigable places in his mind.

Some days I feel the loss of my father as unbearable. I want to have him sing "King of the Road" with me, or a few verses of "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd." But, he can't. I still sing to him, though. You can be happy if you've a mind to...

And this week, I reminded him of his obsession with the rock opera, "Tommy" back in the 1990s. He must have seen the film 100 times. He bought the record and played it so much at home, I think he wore it out. He knew all of the songs by heart. 

Since Dad can't remember anymore, I'll just remember for him. A daughter can do that.

Here, Dad, this is for you.


"Pinball Wizard" by The Who.




6 comments:

Sarah Bachhuber Peroutka said...

A bittersweet tribute.

Carol Lee Beckx said...

Katherine, your Father is fortunate to have a daughter who treasures his memories.

Cindy Michaud said...

Such lovely memories...dementia is more painful than a sudden death. What I wouldn't give to hear "Moon River" again...from Dad. He is a blessed man to have you.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Sarah -- thanks for stopping in a commenting!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Thank you, Carol Lee. Each of us four kids has different Dad memories. Many of mine are about the music he loved.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Cindy -- you are so right. Is your father still alive?