It's become clear to me that the end is very near for Dad. It's been this kind of approaching finality for a while now, but I feel in my gut, that it will be very soon.
When I went to see him today, as has been the case for the past couple of weeks, he has told me that people from our lives are coming to see him. People that have been gone for a while now.
My Aunt Betty, My Aunt Gail.
Today it was my Uncle Bill and aunt Marge. I made the two martinis for us, and he said, "Do we have enough for everyone else?" I said yes, you have enough gin and vermouth for several more drinks. "Okay, good".
He got up, and he is now very frail, it takes him a long time to cross the room, and he is shaky on his feet. I watch him like a hawk, but I have to be careful. If he sees me doing that, he says, "Knock it off, I'm fine".
He went to his little kitchenette. Spread a dishtowel, washed the 3 other glasses he has, and lined them up. Got the shot glass and added it to the line up.
"I don't have any olives". "Yeah, you do, in the door of the frig". He struggled to find them, I resisted the urge to help him. "The jar with the red lid". "Okay got it", also added to the line up.
He walked back slowly, shakily, and sat down.
He was more lucid today, that's the thing with Alzheimer's, it's so arbitrary. I had the courage to talk to him today about something I've wanted to say for the past couple of weeks. Something I've gone over with close friends the past two weeks.
"Dad, do you think about Mom a lot?". "Yes. more than I should". "Me too".
"Do you believe she's waiting for you?". "Yes".
We have a very close bond. It occurred to me recently that he's staying here for me. Really, I think he is. He's worried about me.
"Dad, I just want you to know, that if you get tired, and want to go be with Mom, I'm okay. I'll be fine".
He looked at me quizzically for a moment...""Tell me that again?".
"Dad, if you are tired and want to move on, and go be with Mom, go ahead, I'll be okay, you understand?".
He sat back, asked me about my day, we watched Bonanza, I finished my drink, as did he, I kissed him and said, "Tomorrow is New Years Eve, I'll call you let you know what I'm doing". "Okay, I'm so happy you're here".
I am too.