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Saturday, July 14, 2018

Visiting the Parents July 3, 2018

It used to be that when I sat with my parents, I'd come away with a poignant story, a teaching, or an inspiration. But now, it's just a vacus look on her face and confusion from him.

Today, dad pepped up when I told him that I had connected with my old friend Peter Landesman. He howled in delight at such a wonderful reunion of friends! But then two seconds later he had no idea who Peter was, which is less surprising really than him knowing who Peter is. But when I tried todescribe where Peter lived (54 Walbrooke I think?) Dad couldn't remember the house in which I grew up, the house he and my mother lived in for over 40 years. Gone. He couldn't remember anything to do with Edgemont and our address, 25 Roxbury Road, elicited an unknowing shake of his head.
I don't get where it goes, all those years of walking the neighborhood, of knowing each and every neighbor and where they worked and if they took the train into the City and what instruments their kids played and what synagogue they attended, or didn't attend.
But the thing is, my parents are not unhappy. They are not angry or scared or confused. They are fully present in their every day. You have never seen anyone enjoy a slice of vanilla pudding pie and a scoop of cold ice cream like they do. (They don't have to worry about calories or diets now; the time has passed for that!)
Their days are punctuated by meals and meds - and the highlight- the evening movie.
And sometimes I come by and try to engage them with a piece of the outside world because my past and present still mingle daily.
The thing that is inspirational is that they are doing this together. He shuffles ahead, four small steps then rest, four small steps then rest. He is clearly counting in his head just like he used to when he ran 6-miles a day. And then mom shuffles behind with her walker. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Slide, shuffle shuffle shuffle. She catches up to him, and then they start out again.

And so it goes. And goes.


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