Monday, 10 December 2007


Every time I see my Dad, a little part of me yearns, momentarily, nostalgically, painfully, for the man he once was.

His bent body, skeletal frame, rheumy eyes and gamely shuffling gait, are so far removed from the rampunctious, larger-than-life, tempestuous yet loving man of my childhood .

But this is how I remember him: a distinguished academic, fiercely intelligent yet competitive, with a quick temper, but equally quick to calm down; a fat man - his rounded tummy giving ample evidence of his intense enjoyment of cooking, fine food and drink; a funny man - with a sharp sense of humour and a tendency to make terrible puns; a wise and caring father, always ready with considered advice and respectful of my childish opinions.

His second wife, now back with him as a carer, ensures that his quality of life is as good as it can be. He gets out a lot, meets friends, travels, visits his children. But he can barely write now, he can read -but not long books - he can cook occasionally but is now more or less off the alcohol and can only eat soft food. He still cracks the odd joke and gives advice on my thesis, but his voice is so weak that he is sometimes hard to hear.

Parkinsons has taken so much of my old Dad away from me and although his mind is still the same, what upsets me most is that my children will never know who he used to be. I miss him.


belle said...

That must be very hard. It's sobering watching our parents deteriorate. Thinking of you.

Tina said...

Oh ML, that's such a sad post. I'm sure that you'll be able to share that post, or something like it, with your family, so they get to know him as he was.

Flowerpot said...

I bet you miss him, that must be so hard for you, so sad. I lost my dad over 20 years ago so it's difficult to remember him well, but I have good memories. I deleted the ones of him dying.

Suzy said...

I think it's important that you write about your dad so that children will know him as you do.

Lovely post.

His character certainly pops out on the page, as does your love for him.


But Why? said...

What a bitter-sweet post. Your father sounds a wonderful man, and you no doubt know you're lucky to have known and have the memories of such a great guy, but it makes it no less difficult or painful to watch people we love slowly and inevitably deteriorate.

I hope this period can be as pain-free as possibly for your family. The best of luck to you all.

Rick said...

I know what you mean. My Dad's heart went into cardiac arrest a year ago November, and I don't think he's been the same sense.

Self employed mum said...

You brought tears to my eyes, it's so sad to watch someone you love get old. My gran has dementia and this is the way we have watched her go, it breaks my heart. I feel your pain, missing the person he once was. It's a long grieving process.


riverwillow said...

My Dad had Parkinsons too. I cried as I read your blog as you reminded me how diminished my Dad was by this disease. As self employed mum says its a long grieving process, but it may help you if you tell your children stories about him and they learn how he was. My love to you and your Dad.

Mid-lifer said...

Thanks for all the lovely comments. I saw dad on Saturday and in many ways he seemed better - his speech wasn't bad and he'd put on some weight.

Thanks also to Rick and riverwillow who are new to the blog.

Katherine and Pippa, said...

Just found your blog via flowerpot.

Strange that we wrote about our fathers within a day of each other.

The parent stuff is truly hard - I never realised what it would be like when they both died.


Maddy said...

Me too, but for Alzheimers.
Best wishes

"Whittterer On Autism."