My dad and I found ourselves at three matinees this week sharing buttered popcorn and a giant-sized medium coke. We’ve seen “1917,” “Ford versus Ferrari,” and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” “1917” left us somber and awed, “Ford versus Ferrari” – energized and proud. “The Rise of Skywalker” sparked elation.
His feelings fade as he shuffles and I walk to the car. His thoughts slip away. “What was the name of that movie again?” he asks, each day. And I tell him, and we are happy.
* * *
The owls stand guard on the windowsill
with the angels
in my parents’ home.
Outside you might find
a broken thing –
things that are dried out, brown –
But also beginnings
and a dove hiding among pansies and the earliest narcissi.
My father sleeps
and when he wakes he thinks of my mother
and remembers that she is on her way somewhere –
on a camel’s back she is on her way back to herself.
He has found his gentleness
while I continue to find my
On the empty stairs in the parking lot garage I think –
I pity the person who would try to hurt me.
* * *
* * *
Oh, just for one more day with my dad! I just know they would have been great friends, such gentlemen and gentle men❗️And I’m right there with your ferocity, special friend.
Thank you so much, Jane – yes, I’m sure they would have. xoxo
Jennifer, I know what you are going through and so do many many people. Cherish the day.
Dearest Mary – I am trying to do just that. Xoxo
I just love reading your posts each Sunday morning, Thank you!!!
Thank you Susan – your kind words mean so much to me. Xoxo
Beautiful. Thank you for this, Jennifer.
You know I’m always so happy to hear from you, Don, and so appreciate your encouragement. Xoxo
Jennifer, your photos and poetry are so beautiful and poignant. They always touch a chord in me. Love to you and your dad.
And – sending very much love to you, dearest Nancy! My dad is so surprised to see me each morning. And overjoyed. Strange, beautiful times here. Xoxo
I know that life-place you are in. You describe it so perfectly and find its beauty.
I am sorry that you have been on this journey too, Lou Ann. But the compassion of others makes it possible to endure and try to – treasure, in a way. Xoxo
Of all our universal experiences, this one is uniquely solitary. Caring for a parent who is disappearing before one’s eyes is a tragic mix of fierce advocacy, love and despair. Be kind to yourself as you create happiness in the moment. Although you are physically alone in this part of the journey, your friends are grieving, loving and remembering with you.
Dear Elizabeth – Your message touched me deeply. Thank you. I have been so, so grateful that the wild grief and despair of last year seemed to have exhausted themselves – at least for now – and I am better able to appreciate what remains. Xoxo
Amen – the words are truth
Beautiful. Intimate, touching, compelling. How he must cherish these moments with you, and you with him.
Owls. We collected them too, and the occasional angel.
John, I’m so honored to hear from you! Cherish is the word – exactly. Yes, we are cherishing each other. Xoxo
Thinking of you and this time with your dad. I’m with Jane. What a blessing for you, him and your mother. A gift for all three of you.
And of course, I know that ferocity in you and love it to the core! I remember seeing the maternal side of it in the past—and was in awe of it. Keeping it coming as well as your grace and mercy.
Spring is coming. Xoxo
Dearest Lawrence – I love you. Thank you. Xoxo
Jennifer, your gifts are so beautiful, meaningful and close to my heart. Thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much, Jean – xoxo
I’ve read through all these comments and I simply offer emphasis to all these wise words as well as your own …. and the addition of more virtual hugs thrown around you. I’m glad you have this dear time with your dad with movies and buttered popcorn to share — and that “we are happy” continues.
Thank you for the virtual hug, Liza… my ability to feel gratitude right now is the work of the Holy Spirit… the love of friends helps. Xoxo
What you are going through is so hard and heartbreaking. I think maybe the only relief is to share this truth with others, as you have done so beautifully here. I’m proud of and impressed by your ferocity.
It is such a relief Mary – yes. You are right. As ever. Xoxo
This is so lovely & you are such a badass too! Let us know if we can come by & see you while you’re in town or even help out
Big hugs ❤️
Dearest Mary – I will be in touch by text!! Thank you!! Xoxo
Jennifer, you offer such joy in your post. I can feel your gratefulness for every day and time with your Dad. Time with our aging parents tears at our hearts and yet grows them too. Loved the pictures too—made me smile.
I am so glad you felt joy in this, Tracy – I did mean to convey that. I’m so, so glad it came through. Yes our hearts grow, in ways we never could have imagined. Xoxo
Thank you for this poignant reflection that speaks to my own journey with two frail elderly parents in a similar stage of life. And thank you to those who posted heart felt comments.
Sending love, Barbara – and hoping that gratitude has found you in the midst of grief as well. Xoxo
Hang on to every minute. You know I am
We must. xoxo
This tugs at my heart!! What a wonderful time for you and your dad and a new adventure for your mom and mother-in-law. Life doesn’t get a better than this
Truth. Thank you, Vanessa. Xoxo
A beautiful and simple gift – thanks for sharing with all of us.
Ferocious and tender simultaneously!
It’s so odd how those emotions hold hands sometimes… thank you so much, E. Xoxo
With so few words, you convey so much. Thank you. I have come to this simultaneous place of appreciation and heartbreak regarding my father and his condition, and it is enough.
It is enough, Alicia. Xoxo
Dearest J – all the feels. Sigh. xoxo
Jennifer, to be able to be grateful for every blow or every triumph, or just those moments in between, what a gift we have, even if that is all we can muster. But you, you are able to put that gratitude into words so that all can be reminded. Ferocious, indeed.
Your post inspires me to accept my mother’s illness and look for the happy moments we still have to share. Thank you!
I pity the person too!
Wish I had another day with my dad watching movies! In his case it would be John Wayne
I wish you had another day with your dad too, Betsy – (and thanks for that other comment too) – xoxo
Jennifer, that is so beautiful, heart-touching, and so wonderfully expressed. Brings back sweet memories and tears of my own parents. Thanks you!
Dearest Jennifer, Your beautifully-expressed thoughts about your parents brought back lovely memories of them. Such wonderful people; I admired them so. Sending you love and best wishes. Katherine Fairchild (Lyn’s mom)
How lovely to hear from you, Katherine! Thank you so much for being in touch, and for your kind words. I am thinking of Chocolate Smiles and how I admired you as well! Xoxo