Going to Visit My Dad

Today, I will be getting on the road to drive to Texas. I have not seen my Dad since 2019. That is too long. My dad is getting up in age. Also, my sister tells me he has some dementia happening. Also, he has seemed somewhat sad the last several times I’ve talked to him on the phone. He says he misses his wife (my mom). She passed in 2013, a little over a month before her 72nd birthday. I miss her too.

It has been 10 years. When my grandmother passed away, it was 10 years before my grandfather passed. He had a hard time as well. He was an absolute terror in his last few years in the nursing home. I remember hearing that he threatened to beat many of the attendants. There were not worried, though. He’d had both of his legs amputated just below the knees.

My dad has not any more of a terror than he was as a young man; nothing my oldest sister couldn’t handle; She has been living with him for the past 3 or 4 years.

The last few times I saw Dad, he seemed small and fragile. It was strange because he was such a strong man. He is from a generation that worked hard in life. He was uneducated but always managed to maintain gainful employment. There was a time when his job of 17 years laid everyone off and then closed up permanently. This put a great financial strain on our family. My Dad gave up his weekend drinking because he didn’t think he could afford it any longer. He worked multiple jobs until retirement age. Even after that, he worked as long as anyone would hire him.

He was such a good worker that he earned two retirements from two separate jobs. He didn’t have to worry about money as a senior. However, if he got an opportunity to work, he would. It was hard for him to give up working. Eventually, he was too old. No one would hire him anymore.

Lately, he is moving kind of slowly. He will be 84 in October. I am hoping to spend some time with him. He hadn’t been ill. My sister says he gets confused sometimes and forgets things, like leaving the stove on. That’s funny because he would yell at us about stuff like that, even if he only suspected the offense. He’d yell if we left the door open or exited a room and left the lights on. He would tell us, “Money, don’t grow on trees!”

Whenever I talk with him on the phone, he always says, “I’m doing fine.” My mom used to say the same thing. Her passing was unexpected. I missed the cues and didn’t get to see her. I don’t want that to happen with my dad, so I’m taking a trip.


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