The weatherman’s winter snow warning nipped tomorrow’s plan in their daffodil buds.
Instead of Jon and I going to see Dad tomorrow, it was my husband and I this afternoon, a spur of the moment decision to quickly go and get back, to get back before the big bad winter wolf showed up blowing at our door, threatening to huff and puff, and kill all my lovely spring green and flowers. Will my daffodils freeze tomorrow?
It was a lovely day. Today, not tomorrow, by all rites, should have been our first day of spring. We floated on the air on my husband’s new wheels, with blue skies and warm balmy temperatures surrounding us. I wish I had been able to carry a hint of spring into Daddy’s dark nursing home bedroom. But this is real life I’m living — not no Hollywood script.
We found Daddy hibernating, curled up in his recliner sound asleep, with an oxygen tube up his nose. I looked at him sleeping so soundly — like all parents do when finding their young child asleep. Then I leaned down to wake him — “Hey Daddy, I’m here.” Three more gentle nudges finally caused Dad’s eyes to open slowly. Dad looked slightly startled at first, as he greeted me with that frozen blank stare I’ve come to expect.
I think Dad finally placed me — but Dad never recognized my husband. It’s been August since my husband has accompanied me — time enough for Daddy to forget I have a husband. How long will Daddy know me, I wonder. What if he really didn’t know me today — what if Dad didn’t know that he was my father and that I was his first-born daughter — what if he didn’t recall the life we once shared before he wore Depends that are not dependable, before he wound up in a nursing home, a dire prediction of my mother’s that he once laughed at?
Winter will not loosen its grip on life in this world. The resurrection of spring that awaits most of us will meet Dad in another space beyond time. Spring forward, fall back, who cares? None of that funny timekeeping business bothers Daddy.
It’s winter from here on out. It’s winter until it’s not. It’s winter until eternal spring arrives to claim my Daddy’s heart.