I called dad many times this week before I finally reached him. The first 4 days I kept calling his room phone without a response. Then I tried to call the aides. The first time they told me he was in the lounge asleep on the couch. Should they wake him? I said no, I would call back later. The second time they said he was with a group of people headed towards an activity. I said they should not disturb him. I would call again the next day.
The next day when I called dad’s room again he didn’t answer. This time when I called the aides, they brought the cordless phone to him in the lounge. His mood was very upbeat. He asked where I was but didn’t ask when I was coming home, though I did tell him. He said I should have fun and enjoy myself while I am here.
(It struck me as so different from the phone calls I had with mom that last year she was alive. She kept telling me it was too long to wait for me to come see her again, even though it was less than 2 months away. It is refreshing to have dad so relaxed about our time apart.)
I reminded dad that if he needs anything he can ask one of the companions and they will purchase it for him. He said he was fine and didn’t need anything.
I asked if he was happy and he said yes, he was doing very well. I asked dad about his shoes and he said he is wearing loafers that look like slippers and they fit well. (I wondered if it really WAS the slippers.)
Anyway, it was uplifting to talk to him as he was so positive and happy. I wish mom could have been like that when they were in assisted living. Mom worried all the time about everything and seemed afraid to enjoy the pleasures of each day.
Dad just doesn’t worry about anything. And I think having Mary free to talk to him every day makes him very happy too.