Three weeks ago my Dad and I spent a morning at his dining room table. He was stamping envelopes, 500 of them, with my return address while I was splitting poetry cards up into 10s and 20s ready for enveloping. He takes such an interest in Poems in the Waiting Room – delivering the cards to Taieri Court Rest Home and reading the poems to the elderly folk. Have I mentioned my Dad is 87?
Two weeks ago he was rushed into hospital feeling unwell and ended up having two stents added to his collection of heart hardware. While recovering from that op he developed pneumonia and has been very ill. He’s making a slow recovery but has just been told he has a, as yet unexplained, swallowing problem which has resulted in all fluids and food fed to him via a nasogastric tube. He has such grace and dignity – thanking the medical staff for every attention and apologising for being such a bother.
He hasn’t felt like reading but thought he could manage a poem or two so I dropped the latest card in today and let him know I’m counting on him being well again soon so we can have another session together preparing the summer poetry cards for distribution.
Tonight the hospital rang to say he had a fall so we raced in to find him lying on his bed with an icepack on the back of his head and his transistor in hand – he wanted to catch the 8.00pm news! We told him the Olympics were over, and all the medals had been given out so competing in the high jump was fruitless. He laughed and said we shouldn’t have bothered coming in, he was fine. And he is, a fine and very much-loved father.