It gets harder and harder to take Dad to church. I further complicated things by oversleeping today…had to call and tell them I would take him to 10:30 mass instead of 9:00. I got there and my father was working on getting dressed. He smiled at me and said "what are you doing here?" Uh, taking you to church Dad….. When he was ready I said "O.K., let’s go to church now" and he looked at me and said, "what church?" "St. Patrick’s Dad, the same one we always go to.". When we walked in the church he paused and looked at me and said, "where do I go?" I showed him to the same pew we always sit in. He kept pulling his wallet out and I kept reassuring him that he’d already given me the money for collection. Finally however he said, "but what about all my other money?" I told him I didn’t know and we’d ask Mom when we got back home. He thought for a moment and said, "who is Mom?" I told him it was Polly, his wife and then fortunately the music started.
I sat there feeling sad and wondering why I was doing this. But after mass we made our long, slow way toward the entrance and Dad shook the priest’s hand and as we walked to the car he said, "thank you honey, for taking me to church." And you know what? When he said that he sounded just like my Dad. The boys were over at their place, Ernie was out doing the shopping and as I sat there with my folks, my father kept thanking me over and over. I kissed him goodbye and he hugged me and said "thanks for taking me to church sweetie…..I don’t know what I’d do without you."
It brings me to tears when you see those flashes of him…when he has the light in his eye for a moment or two. Sometimes I don’t what is hardest….when he’s confused….or when he’s not.