Sunday, August 4, 2013

On This Date in 1998

It’s the middle of the afternoon and I’m enjoying the view from the deck of Larry and Kim’s cabin. Except for the boys, it’s very peaceful out here. After lunch we went miniature golfing and then stopped at County Market to buy a few things to have on hand: cereal, milk, pop tarts (the first of which was just downed by Eddie), microwave popcorn, orange juice and a 6-pack of Mountain Dew.

It’s a much more comfortable and relaxing environment staying out here. It makes a big difference now that the eating area has been transformed into dad’s bedroom. The dining room can’t serve the same informal purpose, a place where Dale can eat lunch, Eddie can draw or build Legos, and Grandma can work on her crossword puzzle with the TV droning in the background. He can shuffle from room to room on his own power. I haven’t seen him use his wheelchair much yet. It’s obvious that since my last visit he has retreated farther into the solitary world that Parkinson’s has boxed him into. I’m sure it’s not intentional, but Mom addresses him like a child whenever she attends to him. Speaking more slowly and clearly than she usually does. Repeating questions. Stretching out a pause to what for me is an uncomfortable length as she awaits a response, which she manages to understand but is usually incomprehensively garbled to me. When I was the boys’ ages, I could never cut through the thick accent of Grandpa Nelson’s English. Now I can’t understand the words my dad is speaking.

The weather is muggy today. The temperature is in the mid-80s. I suggested going swimming at the dam but Andy said he didn’t feel like doing that. Grandma mentioned that Andy seems tired, and I certainly agree with that observation. I think the last two weeks of July were physically and emotionally draining for him. First of all, he played a lot of baseball during that stretch. Secondly, I recall experiencing butterflies before a regular league softball game in Oshkosh. I’m sure Andy had some moments of apprehension prior (and during) both of his July tournaments. (Actually, the last one was in August.) As we were leaving Reedsburg late Saturday afternoon, at the halfway point of the tournament, he told me, “I can’t wait to get home. I’m really tired.”

As a competitor in sports events, Andy learned a lot this summer. Not taking anything away from Eddie, of course, we have a lot to be proud of in our older son.

(Sorry for the sloppiness of this card but the slope of this comfortable chair is not conducive to good penmanship.)

We miss you.

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