February 2, 2016
It was a TUESDAY…Five days after our first official “Date With Dad”…and two days till our next scheduled outing. My phone rang and my sweet dad’s voice sounded so pathetic. He explained that he just HAD to get out of the house and wondered what I was doing. “Well, Dad…ummmm….I’m at work!”
I told him to hang tight and that I would be leaving shortly and would come by to pick him up…had no idea where he wanted to go, but I showed up and he shuffled to the car (with the help of a cane and my arm). I was a little concerned to be taking him anywhere, seeing how weak he was, but thought maybe he just needed to “take a drive” (something he would spring on my mom at random times during the day…and NIGHT).
As soon as we headed out the drive way he said, “Turn right and go to the corner….turn right again.” I asked WHERE we were headed, but he often had selective hearing so – he just smiled and acted like he didn’t hear me. We both knew he did.
He guided me to the Kroger parking lot and then informed me, “I need to learn how to drive…you know, one of those cart things. I think it’s only fair that you help me figure it out – after all, I taught YOU to drive all those years ago….and I’ve always been proud of the job I did. You are such a great driver, thanks to me…you are welcome!”
So- I got him out and left him leaning up against the outside wall (his suggestion…not mine) and hurried to park the car. As I got back to him, I helped him inside and into one of the motorized carts and gave him some CLEAR instructions on how to use the handle (to make it go forward or backwards…fast and slow). I made him practice some in the big aisle before turning him loose!
He was precious…and BIG TIME SERIOUS about this adventure. He gave his famous “Lynn Grin” as I walked behind him and cheered him on. He said, “Well, at least if I fall asleep my hand will (probably) relax and I won’t run in to anything…but, just in case, you better stay right with me!”
(At one point he said, “Make sure you take a picture… and send it to your brothers!”)
In the end/30 minutes later – we had a basket that contained ONE JAR OF CASHEWS!?!? When I said, “That’s it? That’s all you needed?” he said, “I NEEDED to learn to drive…the nuts are just a bonus!”
As we headed to the checkout (after going round and round the store), he grinned and said, “I should get one more thing….” I wasn’t surprised when he headed to the ice cream coolers, but was surprised when he took his time picking out the perfect container of Butter Pecan.
Butter Pecan….my MOM’S favorite.
He smiled, proud of himself, and said, “For your mother…just a treat, cause she’s had a rough day”. I read this as, “It’s “make- up ice cream” because she’s mad at me.”, but decided to keep my mouth shut! At least the man knows what to bring home!
As we loaded into the car I looked at him and said, “I’m really proud of you….you did good!” He replied, “Well – except for that one guy that I almost took out in the chip aisle…that would have been really bad…ALMOST as bad as when you about wrecked the car the first time I took you driving in the High School parking lot…and you didn’t see the concrete light fixture until I screamed…”
I knew, somehow, he would work in that story.
“See you Thursday, Dad! I love you.”