It was a “Date with Dad” Day…
(To start at the beginning of my “Date with Dad” journey – Read from the beginning )
….Thursday, February 11, 2016
A few days before this date I was told that my dad had a doctor’s appointment for the 11th so – “How about if you run by Chick-fil-a and get us some lunch, then you can come to our house to eat it before we head to my doctor’s appointment…and then, remember, you are going to remind me what else I need to do.” (For that story – Read here)
I had a busy morning and just as I was headed from the office (earlier than usual) to brave the masses at the Chick-fil-a drive through (seriously- WRAPPED AROUND THE BUILDING), I received a “frantic” call from my mom saying they had the time wrong and “your dad’s appointment is really in 15 minutes”. So- I grabbed food and hurried to the house…helped my dad in the car and inhaled lunch on the drive.
While my dad (on this day) was physically able to walk, I pulled up to the curb of the doctor’s office (Heart Clinic at the hospital) and dropped him at the door. He told me that he was worried about being late so – he would meet me up on the 3rd floor. I raced to get the car parked and made my way in the building and up to the 3rd floor. As I exited the elevator, he was about 10 feet down the hall. I remember realizing how slow he was moving and was concerned about how weak he seemed. I took a few steps to catch up with him and he seemed thankful for my arm to grab on to.
Long story short…he seemed out of breath when we finally got to the right office and he had me check in with the receptionist as he took a seat. Within a few minutes, it was confirmed that he had the WRONG date/time for his appointment. He whipped out his little notebook/calendar, (that he ALWAYS kept in his shirt pocket – picture a paper version of an iphone…sooooo much info in his little book), and remained calm yet frustrated as he couldn’t figure out how he had gotten it wrong. As I stepped in to find out the correct date/time (recording it on my phone/calendar), I said, “Well, that just gives us more time to do something else! You didn’t really want to be here today anyway!” (Something he had mentioned on our way, “I’m so tired of all these appointments – I can’t believe I can keep all these doctors straight!” The irony of this statement, made just a few minutes before, did not go unnoticed!)
So – we made the long trek back to the car and finally got settled when I asked, “OK…so, what was I supposed to remind you to do?” He smiled and said, “We will get to that in a minute, but – first I WANT SOME PIE!”
If anyone can tell me where you can go to get a piece of pie in Plano, TX – please, for the love of all things with sugar, let me know. (Seriously – NO idea!)
After figuring out that we had no clue (after living in this down for 40 years) of where that would be, he finally said, “Ok. Let’s think about that…while we do what you needed to remind me of…It’s close to Valentine’s Day, right? I’m thinking you need to take me to get a card and flowers for my wife.” (ahhhh…adorable, right?!?)
Since they typically shopped at their neighborhood Kroger, he instructed me to head that way since he knew they usually had tents set up in the parking lot for drive up shopping (“that way we won’t have to walk very far”). I helped him out of the car and suggested the walker – seeing him struggling with weakness and breathing. After a little pushback, he agreed and maneuvered into the tent where we were alone with 2 young sales clerks. He started looking at HUGE arrangements with roses and candy attached and asked me, “I think I like that one – how much is it?”. When I looked at the tag I about DIED! It took all I had to say, “Ummmm….$129.00!” He said, “Really? Well – that’s ok…let’s get it.”
Knowing my mom, I knew she would DIE if she found out he spend $129.00 on a dozen roses that, quite honestly, looked like their “best days” were a few days before. So, I got up close and whispered, “Hey – I think we should go to Sam’s and look there. They have awesome flowers and would be a lot less expensive. These don’t look that fresh to me – probably cause they have been outside for a few days now.” Sweetly he replied, “I don’t care about the price, but if you think the ones at Sam’s would look better and last longer, than let’s go there.” Then he added, “I don’t want them to feel bad that I’m not buying so- let me get her card here, okay?”
I love the way he looked at several cards before he declared, “This one is IT!
We headed to Sam’s and he picked out a beautiful bouquet of red roses. He asked me, “Now, how is this going to work – are you taking them to your house and then bringing them over on Valentine’s Day…or do you think it’s ok to give them to her a few days early?” After some discussion, we/he decided she should enjoy them now (saving the card for February 14th)…and I’m so glad that that’s what he decided…we had no idea what a few days later would bring.
But, on February 11th, I had the joy of being with my dad when he brought home a sweet bouquet for his beautiful wife of almost 59 years. His sweet face was priceless – full of pride, knowing she would be pleased.
As we began driving home he said, “I can’t believe I’m going to say this but – I think it’s a good thing we couldn’t think of a place to get some pie…I think I’m too tired for any.” He looked like he was starting to doze off a little and then turned to me, raised a finger and pointed at me with a direct order, “But – ask around, cause next week that’s the first thing we are going to do!”
I should have REALLY known, at that point, how weak he was getting. The man had NEVER turned down pie! EVER.
This man…he loved his desserts…and usually everyone else’s! 🙂 Only a few things he loved more – one of them was his wife, Judy.