My goals as a daughter and caregiver have changed since 2006, when I moved my Dad to California. I imagined we’d make the grand tour of the foothill wineries, in search of the very best Zin. But then he lost his taste for wine (although he still enjoys a small glass before dinner), and car trips became uncomfortable. I find that I am no longer trying to ensure “a fun old age” for him.
My goals now are simple: keep him from feeling lonely, and make sure he gets chocolate every day. I think I’m succeeding at both.
As I returned him to his assisted living apartment the other day (which he views as purgatory), I told him I’d be back the next day and explained that I don’t want him to be lonely. “I don’t get lonesome,” he said. “But I do miss you.”
And as for chocolate, well, here’s the proof. This is a typical scene of Dad at lunch. What could be better than chicken, milk, the New York Times and a side of chocolate cake?
He’s lost so much of his former life (and glory, he would add). The 5th USMC Reserve Officers Commission class (of May 1941) is down to 25 members from its original complement of 304. His closest friends and brothers are long gone.
But he’s still got me, as well as other family members who love him. And chocolate. Lots of chocolate.