Monday, July 15, 2013

Aging

My father-in-law broke his hip two weeks ago, so it's been a rough go of things in the family since then.  A lot has been going on.  My sister-in-law on the east coast is here for a couple weeks visiting and has been working her magic on the stubborn old man who had gone on a hunger strike upon being put in a rehab center.  She goes out every morning to eat breakfast with him and bring him whatever he needs from the store or his condo.  She gets there by riding my bike.  Today, they watched The Hustler on AMC, and I made a mental note to watch it myself. 

When she came home this afternoon from her morning with her dad, she gave us the rundown on the day.  Out of the blue, her voice cracked and she couldn't speak.  She told us through tears that he'd talked today about how much he wished he could be around to watch our daughter, an amazingly gifted runner, compete in a track meet. 

Tonight we all went to see him while my husband taught his night class.  He had just finished his dinner in his room, no longer at the front door trying to make his escape, no longer on a hunger strike.  We flipped the channels and found Little House on the Prairie.  We watched the episode when Laura and Almonzo get engaged.  When Opa got changed into his pajamas, we went outside and picked blackberries from the huge bushes in the parking lot.

Two Ethiopians are taking care of him in the afternoon/evening shift.  Tonight, they both chatted with my kids after they got my father-in-law ready for bed.  I felt proud and relieved to have these two sweet souls caring so kindly for my favorite old man.

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