By Lisa Slifko
23 Dec 2008
For his 80th birthday, we bought him a pair of new comfy slippers
This is my father, Richard. He doesn't live in his own home or apartment. He was diagnosed with Alzheimer's a few years ago and is a mere shadow of the man I used to know. He lives in an Assisted Living Facility not too far from my home. Unfortunately, I don't visit with him often enough. Even more unfortunate, his other children don't visit him at all, nor do they want to. In total, I have 6 brothers and 2 sisters, all of which came from the same father and mother. Sad on all levels of thought.
Growing up wasn't easy. My father may not have been what we dream a father should be. There were many struggles and even more stories of wrong doings I could tell. However, they are all mute and pointless to re-live today, as my life is not focused on the past. Seeing my father for his birthday taught me a new level of love.
He is my father, always has been my father and will always be my father. No matter what was, it is no longer.
He opened the slippers and his eyes lit up. He reached down and took off his shoes and socks, not fully aware of reality. The moment I saw the condition of his feet, I knew there were issues that no person could look away from and ignore.
He is my father, regardless, I love him.
My daughter helped him with his slippers and we visited for just a little while longer. Things began to churn in my heart and I discovered new things about myself because of my father and his birthday slippers.
Thank you dad for still being dad. For still being able to teach me things about life and myself, even when you're not aware of it.