Living with an aged father is a daily challenge. And not necessarily for the reasons you might think.
Fit, active and alert, my 94yo father is little trouble at all. He does his own washing. (I wash no man’s socks and jocks!) He makes his own bed and occasionally cooks dinner. He puts out the bin every week and jumps on the bus to go and do his Lotto, pick up the odd tin of cat food or bottle of milk. He is great at washing up and actually likes to do it.
Partly deaf and blind in one eye, he powers through life and makes no apologies about it. The most important thing in his life is his cat, Splinter – my gift to him, about six years ago. His first ever personal pet, he is absolutely besotted with that little monster.
What could I possibly find to be not to my liking, with this paragon of a man? He, who adores my mother but who lives with me? Who is revered by all who know him or of him as a man you would love to have as a husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather?
There indeed is the rub! My mother, who is my best friend, hasn’t been prepared to live with him full time for the past thirty years or more.
He was shared between us for quite a while until my husband was ill enough for us to ask my Dad to come and stay with us, full time, so Robbie wasn’t home alone while I worked to support us all. It was about three years before my husband died and that was over ten years ago!
For about ten years, he used to go and spend the weekend away at my Mum’s place, when he would visit with old ladies and play cards and have dinner with my Mum.
Now, most of the old ladies are gone; we live next door to my Mum and our dinner is taken in front of the TV every night.
It’s the sport that drives me mad! I like the occasional game of football, cricket, tennis, golf, bike racing, soccer or watching the swimming, athletics, gymnastics and whatever on TV. My Mum is not so generously minded.
But, please. Dad …. there is more to life than sport. Music, art, drama, literature, travel, movies, even cooking…..
I love you, Dad. But when you surf the TV channels with no regard for the programming, looking for your next sporting fix, I really want to scream. It’s no small wonder I sat up all night after you had gone to bed, to watch Game Of Thrones on DVD and loved it. I would love to share a dragon movie with you!
It’s a small price to pay for the company of a man I really do love. It’s a trivial thing at times when we are nursing one another: he caring for me, me dressing his wounds; us ferrying my Mum about as needed.
But, thankfully I will be in the USA and Canada for most of the Olympic Games.
Meantime, let’s go and check out what’s happening at Wimbledon while the Tour de France stage for tonight powers to the finish, with my Dad riding every pedal push of the way. Let’s see if Roger Federer does win Wimbledon again.
But, don’t forget it was me who sussed out the power board switch had tripped and that was why the air conditioning wouldn’t start up, regardless of how many times you changed the batteries.