Another Friday

Dad's word-finding was particularly bad today.  Sometimes I'm able to figure out what he's trying to say, and other times I just nod in agreement or say something inane like, "I know," or "You're right," or "Really?"  Usually this works and he is placated - I formulate a reply based on the expression on his face, or the tone of his voice.  But sometimes he looks at me suspiciously and I know I've missed the mark - clearly my response was entirely inappropriate.  I'm not sure he realizes I can't understand what the hell he's saying, or if he just thinks I'm an idiot.  I hope it's the latter.  My job is to make him believe he is the same man he always was; if he recognizes he is not, then I've failed.

There are still times when Dad is fairly lucid, and I used to live for those moments - when I'd see flashes of my father as he used to be.  But it's a double-edged sword. After two hours of being unable to communicate today, he suddenly started speaking in full sentences and the things he said were at once inexplicable and astute.  When his building came into view he said, clear as day, "That's my home." Then he turned to me and asked, "When will I graduate?"
"Graduate?  What do you mean, Dad?"
"When will I graduate from here?  When will I get a car?"
"I don't know, Dad.  We'll just have to wait and see."
"I hope it's soon."
"Me too, Dad.  Me too."

As we pulled into the parking lot he quietly announced, "I used to have it."
"Have what, Dad?"
"All of it."

He's right about that - and the fact that he knows it breaks my heart.

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