Stories of a Life Past

“Thank God the war came along,” my dad said one evening in September 2011, as I tucked him into bed.

While no one wants a war to be the answer to any difficult situation, I found this comment hysterical, especially coming from a man who devoted his life to his nations as a Captain in the Naval Reserves. In that instant, I realized there were so many things I’d yet to learn about my dad.

In my childhood, I always thought my dad must have been […]

My Hero

On a dreary January morning in 1965, Sister Madonna announced, “Who wants to read their story about their hero first?”

Don, the green-eyed twelve-year-old hunk in our class, immediately raised his hand and took center stage.

“My hero is my father,” he stated proudly.

Dead silence followed. The room then broke out in snickers and sneers. I sat in disbelief, shocked. Don was one of the really cool kids. He was a great athlete, straight-A student, and the undisputed leader of our class. How could he pick […]

A Father’s Language of Love

“How is your dinner?” I asked my father one evening, as I spooned another forkful of spaghetti into his mouth. Chewing madly to get ready for the next bite, he simply nodded his head up and down.

Since my dad moved in with me six months ago, there seems to be less and less he can do for himself. Bodily functions and cleanups are tasks left to his caregivers. His vibrant, cornflower-blue eyes have dimmed like a 100watt light bulb losing its power. His once […]

Are You Ready?

Walking into the living room, I found my father in his favorite worn-out green plaid recliner. Taking a deep breath, I asked the question we’d both been preparing for all month, “Dad, are you ready to move in with me?”

Smiling, he looked me straight in the eyes and asked, “The question is, are you ready to have me?”

In one week, on June 1st, my daddy will be my first roommate since my children all left the house for lives of their own. The house […]

Dad’s Homecoming

Twenty-four days until my new roommate comes to stay. At ninety-five, it will be a challenge for him. He’ll be leaving the only home he’s known for the past fifty-one years. All his memories are locked up between those walls – the joys, the fears, watching his four children fly away one-by-one and the tears over the loss of my mother. I look at what we’ll be taking, and it’s all very simple: a few clothes, his hospital issued bed, his wheelchair, and the […]

Preparing for Dad

Who would have thought that after ten years of single-dom my first hot male roommate would be my father?

In 1991, my dad and I went to visit my maternal ninety-eight- year-old grandmother at her nursing home. For the previous six years, Grammy lived with my mom and dad, but her health was deteriorating, and my mother could no longer physically lift her. At that time, home care was unheard of.

As my crippled father (from a debilitating stroke he endured seven years earlier) made his […]