Dad couldn’t stop crying after Kathy moved him into the facility.
When she came to visit, he’d cry and say he wanted to die. He said
the same thing to the nurses. This went on for about a month until
the doctor put him on an antidepressant especially for Parkinson’s
patients. The next time Kathy came to visit, she found him in the
cafeteria, talking to some of the other residents and not crying at
all—just enjoying his lunch. When it was time for her to go, he
didn’t cry, but rather calmly escorted her to the car. “Do you like
this car? My wife and I were thinking about getting one,” he told
her. “That’s very interesting,” Kathy smiled, “because I am your
wife.” Dad chuckled, “Is that right?” He squinted over the palm trees
towards the freeway. So many cars. Busy busy busy. “Well, we’ll see
you later, then,” he said, and shook her hand firmly, the way he’d
learned to do at Rotary. What funny new friends he was making.
About this poem:
“Near the end of his life, my father proved to be, at his core, a very polite, chivalrous man. He walked the halls of the facility where he lived, introducing himself and shaking people's hands as he had done at Rotary meetings. He complimented the nurses, ‘You have a lovely figure.’ He could also eat an entire 2 lb. box of See's Candies in an afternoon, which requires considerable effort with stage five Parkinson's disease.”