Friday, November 19, 2010

Gratitude 15: Uncles.

Today was my dad's Thanksgiving dinner at his rest home.  I've been to this event two years in a row now, and I really appreciate it.  The food is really good, and it's fun to sit with my family and enjoy dinner without any of us having to make any of it. Plus, it's usually just a few of us so we get to really interact with each other.

About 20 minutes before I had to leave today, my uncle came.  My dad is one of three boys, and his brothers have been very supportive of him throughout his ordeal with Alzheimer's.  They go to church with him every Sunday; I love the thought of my dad having someone to sit next to during sacrament meeting and priesthood, since I can't be there with him.

Last year, my Uncle Roe came to the Thanksgiving dinner, and this year it was Uncle Monte.  They both have so many characteristics that they share with the way my dad used to be. Like unnecessary tangents in the middle of stories. Or talking about people that they know but I don't as if we are all BFF's (at one point after Monte showed up, he started talking about someone in this manner. Amy looked at me and said, "Do you know who he's...." I just shook my head before she finished the sentence.   I remember Dad doing this all the time. It is endearing.)  Being around my uncles feels like I'm trying to transpose my dad onto whichever brother I'm talking to in an effort to make my dad come back to me.  It doesn't really work.

Monte almost coaxed a smile out of Dad.  It was the closest I've seen him come to smiling in months.  It was awesome to see that there is a little bit of him still in there that can escape every now and then. 

So today (because I started writing this post last night and then my battery died and I didn't have the energy to finish it before bed) I am grateful for my dad's brothers.  I am glad I get to see them a few times a year. I am grateful that they hold some of the memories that my dad was never willing to talk about.  I hope that I can hear those stories about the past that weren't talked about.  Not that it will change anything; my dad will still be sitting in a wheelchair in a care center, fading away.  But maybe through the retelling, they can flare back to life, intact, if only for an instant.


Jeanette said...

Great post Becky, I'm glad you got to see your dad smile, and get to spend some time living vicariously through your uncle.

heidikins said...

I loved so many things about this--but particularly the mention of uncles. I have a dozen of them (give or take a few) and some of them have been such a positive force in my life. Love it.