Monday morning. Dad’s packing, Betty’s finishing watching The Best Little Marigold Hotel. Lindsey’s playing with Jack and Fiona in the back yard and Billy’s laying at my feet as I write for the first time in four days. “I’m just gonna stuff a bunch of shit in a box” my Dad said to Alan and I the other night. Betty said she didn’t understand how my Dad accumulated so much stuff, she didn’t buy that much stuff. “Isn’t that how my dad is?” I said. “Yeah” she said. It’s not things he’s bought though, it’s more like a collection of recyclables that might be used later. Jean and Bernie, my dad’s parents used to save everything too, pillow cases would be filled with plastic bags, recyclables used for storage, and food was rarely thrown out. Mold was simply cut off the ends of cheese. The other night my dad asked “Do you want to give this meat to your dog?” I said, “How old is it?” He has to try to remember, I probe him with questions and figure out it’s from last week in Reno. “It’s probably gone bad by now” I said.
He’s busy packing away, he’s my dad. He’s the same man he’s always been. When I put my arm around him the other night I could feel his bones, he has shrunk in height, and seems so little. I had a strange feeling as we stood there in the kitchen getting a picture taken, like a small bit of warmth and connection. He told Alan he thought Danny and I turned out to be really good kids. He would never say anything like that to us face to face. It’s sad because he lives so far away and I’ll probably never see him again. I think we all had a nice weekend, they weren’t bad houseguests at all. They were clean and quiet and Jack and Fiona really liked both my dad and Betty. I’ll miss them. My dad would be a good grandpa which is something I never thought I would say.
Patience is golden. It’s one thing I’ve learned from Jack and Fiona that has transformed me into another person. I notice this especially when I watch other people doing things with the babies. For example, our walks down to the park. My brother Danny and Alan have both done the walk with me and the babies. I think it took both Danny and Alan by surprise how slow the process was because both decided to pick up their baby they were walking and carry that baby up the hill much quicker than me. Every little pebble or piece of wood or spot on the asphalt needs to be examined. They will hold my hand and walk for a bit but then need to smell the flowers. When I disrupt this pace by pulling they just sit down on the ground. When I indulge them and take life at their pace letting them explore every nook and cranny they respond positively. It’s not easy and takes lots of patience. I made sure to have patience with my house guests this weekend. I made sure to have patience with myself too. That’s just as important. Having patience and cultivating the ability to call on my most patient self reduces stress and negative thoughts. It keeps the day running much more smoothly. We may not get to everything that needs to be done or go everywhere we want to go but at the end of the day we all feel a lot happier!
I think my dad is a very patient person.