Paper Timothy has come to visit our house. My nephew and his family home school their children and they are using Paper Timothy to learn about other peoples lives and other places. They also are using paper Timothy as a messenger to help spread Jesus good news just like Timothy in the Bible did. Papaw and mom have enjoyed us taking photos of them with the paper doll. When we were kids we didn’t have any lesson like this but mom has enjoyed learning how Paper Timothy can help teach.
Having dogs visit has been wonderful for Papaw. The word has gotten out that we have been taking lap dogs for a few days at a time. Papaw gets so excited when he sees a dog her. Funny thing is, he did want pets for his children. He had hunting dogs and they were not for petting and spoiling. He also never allowed animals in the house. Papaw has mellowed and this isn’t his house so he loves having a dog sit on the count next to him. It usually isn’t long until they are both asleep together. The dogs bring comfort and companionship. I would have never dreamed that these dogs would mean so much to Papaw.
One thing I realized about both of our fathers is that as their dementia became worse, they would mark each day off in their calendars. My father would put an X and my husband’s father circles the date. This is how they keep track of what day it is. If you ask them what day it is they grab their calendars. Any medical people around the house take the calendar away before they ask. Without their calendars the don’t know the day. It is a coping mechanism. My dad finally reached a point where he couldn’t even mark off the days anymore or maybe he just didn’t care.
My father-in-law has a calendar with small squares where you can actually write something. He seldom writes anything but once in a while he write that someone called or that is was someones birthday from the past. Recently he wrote: “Real Good.” It was an interesting entry. We are not sure exactly what he meant. Was it a good day? Were there good memories? Did he feel good? We will probably never know but it isn’t really important. Something was “Real Good” to the point he wanted to write it down. I’m always so glad when he has those “Real Good” moments.
As you all know, Mom has problems with her feet. Peppermint Oil has been quite a relief to her but she and I tried something she had never done before. We went to have a pedicure. She loved it: soaking her feet, having them messaged, pampering and her toes polished. Not until it was all over did she tell me she had never had her toes polished before. I could have done that a long time ago but I didn’t even know. She picked out silver. I tried to talk her into a more neutral shade but she wanted silver. She loved it. She doesn’t wear sandals and she doesn’t go barefoot but she loves to show off her silver toes. I am still learning it is the little things that are important.
Papaw still likes to go for a drive. I’m not sure how much he notices anymore but the motion is relaxing and he loves to go. This last week as we drove through the country I saw a black willy worm. Dad and Papaw always predicted the winter with those worms and this week was no different. Their thought on willy worms are usually right. So when I told Papaw I saw a black willy worm, I could hear a catch in his voice before he spoke. Then he said, “We are going to have another hard winter. I’m not ready for that.”
Last year at this time, Dad started worrying about the winter. My father loved winter and snow and ice. I think he taught me that love so another hard winter doesn’t make me sad. I knew it was a bad sign when Dad started worrying about the weather. But Papaw. Now that is different. He has never like winter and I guess he isn’t interested in another hard one.