My father is still with us, thank God. Although sometimes more in body then in mind. He has been attacked and robbed of his life by that horrible disease called Alzheimers. It struck him or began to really strike him about four summers ago and last summer he became a permanent resident of a nursing home. I know that term gives your gut a wrenching but it is a wonderful facility with fantastic caring people. The only blessing of this disease is he really doesn't know where he is. He thinks he works there or he's visiting someone or any other mind games his brain plays on him. The one thing he does know though is who we are. His family. His wife who he still worships, his two daughters that he adores, the two son-in-laws who he still teases, and his five grandsons. He might not always remember the grandsons names but he always lights up when they come to visit.
We buried my childhood friend's Dad two days ago. This will be her first of a lifetime of Father's Days with no father. My heart breaks for her and her siblings and as I sat in church this week crying with them I knew that we too are on borrowed time. Every father's day with my father could be our last. I try hard to think of the positives - he's 85 now, he's had a good strong life and is in a very happy place. His quality of life is as good as it can be considering the circumstances but still the little girl in me longs for the old days. The days when he made lemonade out of lemons and rainbows out of rain for us. I try hard to honor him by living my life the way he did - to always find the positive, to always treat strangers as friends I've not yet met and to remember that no matter how bad things are others have it worse.
Thanks to my father, Bill Mosher, I am a better person today then I ever thought I could be. He showed by example the way life should be lived. I hate dementia, alzheimers, whatever term you want to hang on it, but I try to find the positive in this. He's still here with us. He still says "I love you very much" whenever we say goodnight and his old blue eyes twinkle and shine when he talks. I'm grateful that we have this time together still.
Happy father's day - if your Dad is still alive, call him, go see him. Hug him. Know that the time is going by and we never know if there will be another June to share with him.