I received an email from my niece the other day. She was about 2 hours away visiting her in-laws and my sister this week. She wanted to come visit dad on Monday. I said dad would love the visit, but I would be gone all day with a group of friends.
Almost a day later my niece responded that she was sorry to miss me this time, but they wouldn’t come up to visit dad until next time they are in this state. I was surprised she wasn’t coming to visit her grandfather and to help my sister visit dad too. Her children are growing fast at their young age, and though dad would probably not notice the difference it would have been a nice visit for all of them.
I thought about that for awhile after I received her email. Why not visit even if I am not here? I do usually have them over to my house for a visit after dad tires and is ready for his nap. I also usually arrange for a lunch either at dad’s Assisted Living Facility or later at my home. But I didn’t believe that was the reason they didn’t want to visit dad.
I thought about my own children and realized that they didn’t like to visit dad without me either. The real issue, I think, is that it is hard to make conversation with dad. Dad’s hearing isn’t good and he usually asks that you repeat anything you said the first time. (I think that is also partially due to the fact that he doesn’t really pay attention as he kind of spaces out sometimes.)
Really, they all depend on me to keep the conversational ball rolling or at least we can all sit by dad watching the television and talking among ourselves while the children play. The children also serve as a diversion so no one notices when there is a lull in conversation as much.
It strikes me as funny somehow as dad never was that much of a talker. With mom and their friends and family, dad did fine. But he never was the life of the party with stories and such. He used to take my son fishing or on rides in his truck, but he tended to leave the talking to mom.
So I will be visiting dad alone again today. I don’t mind as I am used to it by now. I will bring dad his snacks and sit by him while he watches television. Probably his Lady Friend will be sitting on his other side. 🙂