When my Mother died, the pastor that did her memorial service told me, "This will be a year of firsts for you." He meant of course, that whenever I did something; picked up a ringing phone, made curtains, watched TV, saw the snow fall, I'd think this is the first time I've done this since....
That was three summers ago, and that feeling hasn't really faded that much. I've been planting my tomatoes and peppers and I still think of my Mother when I do that. Now, though, after living with Alzheimer's disease for 18 years, my Dad is beginning to fail, or I should say, fail faster. My sister has the lion's share of his care, as she and her son live with him.They sees it on a day to day basis. I know it's hard, and yet I can't imagine how hard it is.
Since Father's Day, we have come to realize that this is the summer of lasts. Now when we do things as a family we all think: This is the last time we do this with Dad.
It's odd, because we didn't go through this, exactly with my Mom. We didn't know what the lasts were going to be, but now.... It's obvious thateven if we get another Father's Day, it won't be with our Dad that we know, it'll be with who he's turning into now.
Dad and I never talked much back when it was possible. We talk more now. We try. Both of us are trying. I regret not doing that more back when language was easier, and I tell him that. And he tells me the same thing. We both know this is the summer of lasts.