Happy day – wedding for my cousin’s daughter! After the church nuptials we headed to the reception hall. Dad came along, slowly shuffling, stopping on a bench to rest before we found our table in the reception hall. He was wearing down for certain. But he enjoyed visiting with friends and family.
While we typically did not have big dances in family weddings, some of the cousins played instruments, and the kids got up to dance. (Just a note, “dancing” was a sin in the old days, but is more accepted in the new generation.) I convinced Dad to get up and dance with me. Because I didn’t have a dance at my own small wedding years before, I had seldom literally danced with him.
He shuffled to the dance floor with me, held me as I tried not to cry. How did I know tonight would be the last time he would hold me in his arms, or we would be able to dance together?
A Second Family Wedding
Two weeks later, another cousin had a wedding for her son; a fun, informal outdoor occasion. Dad also came to this one.
We were in a park with a big circular pavilion. Dad was acting strangely, walking back and forth, back and forth, head down, not talking to anyone. He would not sit down and barely ate.
My oldest sister, my husband and I exchanged looks. We tried walking with him, but he seemed oblivious to us. Family members that had seen him and talked with him just a couple of weeks ago tried to talk to him, but he barely glanced their way.
We took him home early wondering what was going on – had something in his brain snapped? The nursing staff promised to keep an eye on him.
- the end of the beginning
- or the beginning of the end?