My Life and it is
I think am not a bad daughter, I try hard to make sure I get to see my dad and talk to him most days. He has been widowed for over a year now and he is a bit lost. Last week I popped into town, I had called dad but he wasn’t in, he goes out most days. Just as I walked down Buchanan Street, I spotted him on a street bench and he was talking to a wee old woman.
They were nodding and chatting, they looked like strangers talking but still they were at ease with each other. As I approached him, my heart thudded as I thought “My God, he is so lonely he is talking to a strange wee lady, it’s my fault he has no one to speak to, I never visited him enough”
“Hi dad” I said and he got up laughing and said “this is my beautiful daughter, what a surprise, I didn’t know you were in the country”
My dad is used me not always being in Scotland, despite me telling him constantly my movements, he still gets surprised even when I land on his doorstep.
The wee woman smiled and got up saying goodbye, she made room for me to sit with him.
“You ok Da?” I asked him.
“Yes, I needed a wee rest, I was meeting up with my buddies earlier and fancied a wee coffee and sit down, the weather is good eh?” he answered.
“You are not terribly lonely are you?” I asked him nodding towards the wee lady who trotted off down the street.
He looked at me and said “I did speak to people before you were born, I know how to chat to folk, and no I am not that lonely I have taken to harassing pensioners”
I laughed and he laughed and we sat there in the street catching up with each other. I miss him and worry terrible that I am not with him enough or doing enough. He has an adorable step daughter who visits him and looks after his shopping needs. I am grateful to her beyond belief.
“Are you still a comedian?” he asked me, (he does this all the time, it’s our private joke)
“Yes, I am and are you still an old man obsessed with wheelie bins?” I replied.
“Aye I am” he sniggered.
Today I called him and we chatted again. I thought what it would be like not to be able to see him in the street of be able to call him up. I think about him all alone in his house or sitting in the dark missing my step mum and I get so upset. I hope I am a good daughter, I hope he doesn’t think I have no time for him in my busy life.
I was once told that the best thing you can give an elderly relative is your time, they just want some of your time to spend it with you.
I am lucky I have a good dad and am going to see him tomorrow.
Meanwhile life is consumed by all things Edinburgh Fringe…getting posters made, hiring a flyering team and making sure all is well with my to-do list. I dream about the to-do list as husband makes me add and amend it constantly. His Aspergers makes him wake up at 5am and say “Did you write down that thing I told you to” and I stare at him in the dark and say “What thing?” and then he starts switching on lights and fumbling with a pen. Yes, my life is truly awesome.
Am off to London this weekend to work and to catch up with pals, if you fancy a peek at my show listings for Edinburgh here are the links.
The Godley Hour At: http://tinyurl.com/35kubr4
Tall Storrie Wee Godley At: http://tinyurl.com/32cad3p_
I was lucky enough to take my Dad on holiday back to Hong Kong where he'd done his national service, and spend time learning about him. So when he died at the relatively young age of 67, I had that time to reflect on and hold on to those happy memories. So now when my Mum goes over to Spain for a couple of months I always make the effort to visit her for a week. And whilst she's here for the summer and wants to go to Fringe shows, which her friends who are "too old and boring" to go to, I'll be the sad bloke that takes his mother to Fringe shows, and not give a shit what other people are thinking.
See you at the Pleasance Dome at the beginning of August Janey (with my Mum too)
Hi Janey. I enjoyed reading your blog about your dad and understand your concern that he is lonely. I experienced the same feelings when my dad was left at home alone, after my mom was admitted to a personal care home. He was lost without her, but we were forced to get 24 hour care for her. My dad passed away a few years after my mom was admitted. Mom only survived 2 months after Dad passed away. She died of a broken heart. They had been married 50 years when they were separated by death. Now they are together again in heaven. I missed them both every day.
You will never feel like you spend enough time with your dad, no matter how often you visit. But you have to take credit for the time that you do share with him and cherish every minute.