Mission Impossible

Posted: April 25, 2013 in Alzheimer's - Slipping Away
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

We were on a mission, and it was something close to impossible too. The goal was to get our father out of the house, to bring him to the beach. My father NEVER leaves his house, unless he’d like to escape for a quick trip to the nearby store – that’s the farthest he would get. He was never with us on our family trips; he’d rather stay home, and he never runs out of excuses – true story.

Another true story – my Dada grew up in a farm near the beach where he used to spend his spare time at. He adores the blue ocean (or used to). I was also told that he was a very good swimmer. All I heard were stories; I have not witnessed this yet.

My middle sister flew all the way from United Kingdom to spend a few weeks with our aging parents. The timing can’t be more perfect! So on this day, we have decided to push through with our mission before it’s all too late… For several days we have been convincing him about this trip, and he would tirelessly reject the idea; until finally, on the night before the set date, I was able to persuade him to come with us. Our excitement must have rubbed off on him; he was suddenly anxious to see the sunrise and sunset by the beach. To our delight, everything was at last set; this trip was going to be all about our father.

Our first stop was my husband’s family farmhouse where my father found the two-hour drive “all worth it” (so he says). My grandfather was a farmer, and my father is no stranger to the life in the farm. He looked around, and explored the acres of land laid before him. Oh how he loved the fresh air, the farm, and the whole ambiance.  He seemed to enjoy the farmhouse, and my in-laws’ company too. It was a beautiful morning! My heart swelled at the rare sight of his smiling face.

Another long drive, several moans and groans from the old man, and more than half of our reserve patience spent, we finally arrived to our beach resort destination.

After unpacking and a much-needed rest, my husband was able to sway my father to come walk with him to the seashore. What a surprise! We sat by the shore, and watched the setting sun as he told me stories about his life when he was so much younger (long before he even dreamt of having his own children). It was surreal. I found the sunset to be dramatically significant; I had to choke in the tears. The icing on the cake was when we were able to persuade him into dipping his toes on the beach. It was a breath-taking view! There stood my favorite men: my husband and Dada, dipping their toes on the beach as the sun sets. It was priceless!

We cooked dinner near the beach. Of course we served nothing but grilled seafood and vegetables; my father’s favourites. Dinner was splendid! And I’m already looking forward to spending early morning by the shore with my Dad to watch the sunrise.

The mission was a success! This day was almost like racing against my Dad’s Alzheimer’s. We all labored to make every second count, and to make each moment memorable. I will forever be grateful for the many perfect moments on the beach with my father.

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