Most of us want to help our parents. They get old, somehow. Then they become our Elderly Parents. They accumulate problems. They keep their prescription pills in plastic trays larger than a fishing tackle box. One of your parents may die, leaving the other a bit lost in this world. Only a lifelong companion can give them what they really need but you step in to help when they start to go astray.
Let me tell you of such a moment.
My father sits at his desk sorting through his bills and correspondence. I sit next to him and act like I am interested. He has a treat dish sitting on the desk. Some treats for him and some treats for the focus of his life, Zoe, his little yapping dog.
He is showing me his financial situation. He blabs on and on, pointing at the critical parts of important documents. He reaches for the treat dish and pulls out a butterscotch candy, unwraps it and puts it in his mouth. His little dog stands up at his knee and so Dad pulls a dog bone candy from the treat dish, unwraps it and feeds the dog treat to Zoe. He does all this while continuing the narration regarding his correspondence. I have pretty much lost what little attention I could give him. I try to ask a meaningful question here and there.
He resumes talking. After some time, he reaches back to the treat dish and unwraps another dog bone pooch treat. While he is talking, Dad puts the dog treat in his mouth and chews away. He doesn’t stop and spit it out. He continues to talk while chewing and swallowing the doggy treat. I am horrified inside my head but maintain a cool outer appearance. After some minutes, he reaches for the treat dish again but I put my hand over the top of the dish in order to block his hand. “You are not going to eat another doggy treat,” I declare.
He seems shocked. I am thankful for that reaction.
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