An adult child's gift for her father on Father's Day
|I thought 2001 would likely be the most traumatic year of my life with the September 11th terror attacks, but 2020 has continued to come up with new and confounding ways to be a year we’ll never forget.
My father turned 90 in January. Shortly thereafter, a fall broke his hip and arm, and if you'd asked him, you'd get an earful of how he has been a “prisoner” at Meadowbrook Convalescent Center. He was not happy about the loss of his independence, but he needed specialized care.
The novel coronavirus, known as Covid-19, has decimated the facilities housing the elderly and vulnerable. In order to protect them, we only are allowed to visit through a closed window. Not unlike a prisoner, we always placed our hands on the glass to try to bridge the distance.
For a month, I had been trying to figure out what to do for him for Father's Day. Our interaction with the glass between us gave me an idea. The staff helped me out by providing paper and a marker for my father.
I held my clenched first in front of me and made a circular motion with the other hand. A huge grin lit up my father's face. He got it. It's his favorite game, charades, and I'm acting out a movie title.
With my arms stretched out before me, I grimace as I turn my fists toward each other slowly. My father scribbles “bend” on the paper and holds it up for me. I nod. I lean over and grab my knee and hop around. He writes “Ben Hur”in big letters. I smiled and gave him a thumbs up.
I kept up the charades until it was time for his dinner. I had been flopping down in the grass, crawling around, and acting out his favorite movies for nearly three hours. At 68, I was spent but thrilled I was able to spend those hours making my father's day.
I'm terrified that this horrible virus will take this wonderful man from me, but I try not to let him see that fear. I blow him a kiss and he blows one back to me. I watched them wheel him off to dinner, and then a breath caught in my chest and the tears came pouring out.
I want to be able to hold his frail body in my arms, feel his stubble on my cheek and smell that familiar Old Spice he wears, every day we have left. Covid-19 has taken so much from the world. I can only hope he has the strength to fight it off if he catches it. I also worry that it will take me and leave him to sit before the window alone.
No Dialog: Dad 700 words or less
"No Dialogue Contest"