Semi-annual visit

Twice a year I fly up to see my Dad. He’s in a nursing home not too far from where I grew up.

I’m lucky, I have friends in the area, so I can visit Dad and combine that with visiting people that I want to see. Part responsibility, part fun.

No matter what, visiting the nursing home is always hard. I haven’t been to a cheerful one yet. People in various degrees of disability and distress, unable to take care of themselves. Some, I am sure, are making the best of the life they have. Maybe some are very content and happy there, but I don’t see it.

Dad has been sleepy and fairly unresponsive this trip with one notable exception. Yesterday he greeted me with the question, “Are you wearing a bra?” “Yes, Dad,” pulling out the strap, “see?” “I can see your nipples,” was his reply. Today I made sure to wear a patterned shirt. Meanwhile my sense of comfort in my own clothing is diminished.

I have to admit, Dad did this before the dementia set in — or maybe the dementia was setting in long long ago. This is not the first time for the bra accusation. One of the worst was when the two of us were sitting in a crowded restaurant, and he burst out with a loud, “My, you have a lot of hair on your face.” Thanks, Dad.