Stuck in the Brush
Now he was truly “stuck in the brush”.
I had excellent ideas as to what my dad could do with his new-found time at home. He and my mom could go over to the senior apartment building and have lunch with the other seniors.
No, that wouldn’t work, they had their own food.
I took him to the drop-in “Adult Day Care” at the nursing home, which was within walking distance.
He took one look and said no, this was not for him. Those people there had “that crazy disease” (Alzheimer’s, as you may recall.)
Dad was sure he had brought a bucket of tools with him to The Villa.
The bucket of tools were no where to be found. We hunted in his garage, their new home, the office, and all of our garages. The tools were lost for good, no one knows what happened to them. It was one sad dad over the tools. He loved his tools.
Making his Path
He did make his own path. He ventured over to the nursing home often, not to go to the Adult Day Care (oh no!) but to meet with nursing home residents. He would bring his big-print Bible and read and pray with the residents. He was known all over the halls.
I registered him for a limited mobility bus he could schedule (with help); he went to church, out for lunch, or to Wal-Mart.
One day while at work I received a call from my mother – Dad had not come home on the scheduled bus. I called the bus company; no, he hadn’t gotten on the limited mobility bus. I knew he was going to Wal-Mart, so I called my husband John to run over to see if Dad was there waiting for the bus.
John drove to Wal-Mart and looked for my dad. He asked one of the attendants and was told there was an elderly gentleman with a hat that had fallen asleep in the chair by the door. But he was no longer there.
Where was Dad?
Eventually my mother called to say Dad arrived home, a bit winded, but okay. When I asked Dad what happened, he said his bus didn’t come, so he got on the regular county bus. It went around and around, he went by our house a couple of times. Finally, it was the end of the driver’s route. The driver couldn’t figure out where he lived, so he dropped him off at a gas station, about three-quarters of a mile from my parent’s house.
My dad walked home. Amazingly, he kept his sense of direction for a long time.
I was quite upset. I called the bus company. They said, “He needs to be able to manage to get on the bus on his own” I said they should not drop a disabled person off at a random gas station!
Dad didn’t understand why I was upset – he managed to get home okay.