I’ve been hole up in my childhood bedroom for the past 2½ days. During a visit with my dad, a vestibular migraine snuck up from behind and knocked me for a loop. So, here I am, snug under my old pink blanket staring out at the wallpaper that is a sea of green and pink flowers and butterflies.
I’ve been thinking about sounds. When I was a kid, there were the sounds of my friends playing outside the window, my mom calling us to dinner, songs from my record player, requests on the radio and my siblings in their rooms talking. Now I hear the squeak of my father’s walker as he pushes it down the hallway, the ding ding ding of Wheel of Fortune, the canned laugh track from some worn sitcom, the ring tone of a caregiver’s cell phone and a cough or sneeze from my dad’s room. The sweetest sounds by far, though, have been the occasional...
“Glor?” coming very softly from my father as he pulls up close and parks himself at my bedroom door. “Glor?” is long and drawn out (two syllables), just as it should be with a proper Kentucky accent. It’s sweet and slightly strained just as it should be coming from a man who is 92 years old.
He stands there for a moment to see if I’m awake. I turn my head slowly toward the door and tell him I’m OK. He’s worried about me.
Yesterday there was a small bowl of Jell-O on my bedside table. He spotted it when he poked his head in the door just after the “Glor?”. I was lying in bed trying to decide whether or not to eat it.
We looked at each other for a few moments, and then he asked, “Do you want me to feed it to you?”
I thought about saying yes, just so I could savor the experience. But I knew it would be hard for him, I knew I could do it myself and, anyway
my tears were kind of getting in the way.