Funny how much things can change in a year. I had a little "holy crap" moment in the car after dropping my dad off today. This week last year, I was transitioning him into an extended care hospital after a pretty scary week+ at the hospital hospital. He was just barely lucid, weighed maybe 120 pounds, was unable to walk on his own, and the docs were telling me he'd likely never be able to live on his own. I wasn't sure I'd ever have my "dad" back, if he'd ever live a normal life again... I didn't know what the hell to think and the docs in Saginaw certainly had me thinking the worst (heed my advice -- don't ever end up in a Saginaw hospital!!! [for a number of reasons]).
What did I do today? I spent the afternoon at Art Fair with my dad. In Ann Arbor. He lives here now, and, more importantly, he's alive, living a pretty normal (for him) life. He still doesn't remember much about that time last year (or really understand why I have a mini heart attack and turn into nazi daughter every time he has a physical or mental complaint), but otherwise he's HERE. He's him. He has a big fat belly and eats like it's no one's business. He walked all over town. He commented on art and gasped at prices. He had normal old man complaints about tired legs and achy backs. And he was smiling.
I know he's not living the life of his dreams. He'll always have bad days, and I don't know that I'm always the best daughter in those situations. But days like today, when I remember what could have been, I am so thankful that we are where we are.
And this little apple jar (hooray for $6 art!) can be my reminder of what today really meant -- and maybe a little visual kick in the ass when I get impatient or frustrated or just plain lazy.