My daisies are in full bloom here at home. They are the same daisies that we planted at Annie’s grave last year. My dad had a vision of daisies covering the entire grave, but that’s not allowed. We’re limited to planting only within twelve inches from the headstone.
Friday Mark and I drove nearly an hour and a half to the cemetery in Piqua, Ohio, so that I could see and photograph the blooming daisies.
My dad liked to take care of cemetery plots. He always planted geraniums at his mother’s grave site. He and Mom went with us when Mark helped me plant the daisies. Then I took them back in early December to put Christmas decorations on Annie’s grave.
My dad is a faith-filled man. He never missed church on Sunday.
Early in 2009, Mom told me over the phone that Dad had started doing some things that were worrisome. He never knew what day of the week it was. For him, it was always Sunday. Mom would wake up on Tuesday, or Wednesday, and Dad would be getting dressed for church.
Mom wrote the names of the weekdays on a roto-file that she placed in the bathroom so he could see it first thing in the morning. That worked for a while until he started playing with it and changing the day. Later, she showed him how to check the daily newspaper for the day of the week if he was confused.
I feel bad that Dad can’t go to church anymore. It’s just one more thing. Physically he really isn’t able to anymore.
On Friday, Mark and I stopped at my parents’ house and bought dinner from a local submarine shop. I ordered a large salad and Mom ordered cheese steak sandwiches for herself and my dad, as did Mark. We also ordered an appetizer of potato wedges.
Dad used to like to get the large dinner salad too. I could tell by the way he looked at my salad that he wanted some. So I checked with Mom and she said it would be okay to give him a small portion. Dad ate that, and a couple of potato wedges, a small bag of potato chips, and then played with, but did not eat, a small section of his cheese steak I had cut for him.
Dad was relatively talkative on Friday. When I refilled his glass of Sprite, he looked and me and said, “Thank you.” I could tell the words were hard to come by and difficult to express.
I could see Dad had no intention of eating the cheese steak sandwich. “Would you like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?” I asked. He nodded. “Do you want strawberry or grape jelly?” No response. “Do you want strawberry jelly?” I asked. He nodded.
When I set the sandwich on the plate before him he said, “When I woke up this morning, I was thinking about this,” — a full-length monologue for him.
“A peanut butter and jelly sandwich?”
“Maybe I can read your mind,” I said and smiled.
He looked pleased.
Dinner was finished. Mom looked at the clock and said, “It’s almost 7:00. Church comes on TV at 7:00”
Mark and I left. Mom and Dad went to church sitting at their kitchen table.