MY DAD, THE TIME LORD (Five Minute Friday VISIT)

As I turn the corner and peep round, there he is, in his usual spot fast asleep. I crouch down in front of his comfy chair, place my hand gently on his knee and say:

“Hello Pops”.

His eye light up immediately on opening. He’s always so pleased to see a visitor.

The rest of our time together varies. Visits are frequently limited to no more than an hour as he struggles to battle ongoing fatigue. His Alzheimer’s makes it difficult for him to remember what he wanted to ask or think of things to say so the emphasis on finding things to talk about is on me. But pick the right topic, often questions about his past, and he can speak with fluidity and clarity, just like he used to.

His sense of time, especially how much of his timeline I was involved in, isn’t fixed. It’s a bit like stepping into a Tardis when I visit, with him as the Doctor and me as his Companion, as we travel back together to his childhood, his adolescence, his National Service, his early days of marriage.

Sometimes he thinks I was there, expects me to remember the old friends he grew up with, his mother (who died when I was a baby). But that doesn’t matter. Rather than remind him of the blank patches in his memory, I blame my own recall and ask him to remind me of them. Because his memory of his early days is clearer, it’s even been a chance to learn more about my unknown grandparents; I feel like I’ve had a chance to get to know them at last.

Yesterday he told me about the lettuces, runner beans, and radishes they used to grow – small details that add up over time to a richer picture – and it led to a conversation about the vegetables my husband and I are growing now, as well as the tomatoes Dad used to grow when I was a child, and an idea that we might plant up some pots together for his care home’s garden.

And so our Tardis takes sweeps us off on another journey back and forth through time. How many people find out their father is a Time Lord?

To link up with the rest of the awesome Five Minute Friday community, please visit http://katemotaung.com/ (although from next week we’ll be using the dedicated website http://fiveminutefriday.com/)

(*For those wondering, the people in the photos are as follows: 1. My parents, me and my older brother outside my childhood home probably 1970; 2. My dad  in 1934; 3. My parents’ wedding in 1958 – you can just see their mothers each next to the aisle 2nd row back; 4. My mother, my dad’s mother, and me – shortly before my grandmother’s death; 5. My dad’s parents and younger sister in 1945 – he kept this photo while he was on National Service; 6. My dad in 1927)

 

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13 thoughts on “MY DAD, THE TIME LORD (Five Minute Friday VISIT)

  1. I love the analogy of the Tardis being a bit like Alzheimer’s/dementia talks…
    I am your neighbor at FMF and a fellow daughter of one with memory loss. I’m also a speech therapist. I love your post! It describes beautifully how the mind and heart works when we slow to observe and VISIT. Lovely thoughts and pics! Thank you! Jenn Cook

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    • Thanks Jenn. Perhaps it’s the therapist in both of us? I’m an occupational therapist. That’s certainly where I learned about Compassionate Communication with people with dementia. I can’t change what’s happening to my dad but I do have some control over my own attitude.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Memories are beautiful and shared memories during a visit are bonding. Memory loss is difficult for those who love the one going through it. I have seen it in several of my grandparents. I have said a prayer for you as you love on this very special person and enjoy the time and memories. – Lori, your neighbor at FMF #56

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    • Thank you Lori – for your words and your prayers. This week was a good visit but other times are much harder. God bless x

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  3. I enjoyed reading about the visits you have with your Dad. It is somewhat the same with my mother–she is living in the memories of her childhood. I find myself entering her world, sometimes asking questions. I have been learning little by little how to have good visits.Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me the link to Furze Gardens!

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    • Thanks Carol. How many of us get to see what our parents were like before we were born? Some visits are easier than others.

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  4. Loved your post and take on Time Lord/Alzheimer’s. What a blessing you are near enough to visit your Dad, and understand the privilege of getting to know his past as he progresses. It’s a tough disease to watch. Praying you have strength and endurance.

    Visiting from FMF. Happy Writing!

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    • Thanks for your encouragement and prayers Larri. It is tough. Sometimes the Tardis shuts down. But this week was a good one. God bless

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    • Bless you, Andrew. Dementia is a terrible disease but to still have my dad in his 90th year is an unlooked for blessing – he’s still quite the man and gentleman

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