Today was a terrible day. I could tell you it was because I was so busy, or that it was because when I got over to my parents to start packing I had to take my mother to the doctor instead, or because her blood pressure is sky high and we had to get a CAT scan too. It wasn’t any of that though. It was when my father seemed to sink into a state of confusion and started yelling and growling at Leo about not taking good care of his trains and threatening to swat him.
What did I do? Did I try to calm things down and just take Leo away and explain to him that Grandpa’s brain doesn’t work the right way anymore? Oh no….I stuck my finger in my father’s face a la Bill Clinton and yelled, "don’t you talk to my son that way." And when he continued it I got even closer and yelled, "you stop it right this minute."
Leo just froze and sunk into himself. After the second time it happened I brought him into the other room and tearfully tried to explain why Grandpa was acting the way he was. Eventually it was getting late so I told him to go pack up his train and maybe he and Owen and Daddy could go to Custard Cup. He just solemnly looked at me and said he didn’t want to go to Custard Cup. He hugged my mother goodbye and told her he loved her and I think he was going to hug my Dad but I couldn’t get my father to respond when I told him Leo was leaving.
My mother and I sat at the table and cried. My father was oblivious. Later he seemed all of sudden snap back into himself and asked where everybody had gone. My father’s heart would truly break if he realized that he had been cruel and scared Leo. Truly break. Nobody could adore Leo more than my father…except maybe my mother. I told her not to be cross with him. She said she’d try and cried some more.