Happy Day

Today is Fathers day. I’ll celebrate with my children, and I know that they have prepared and wrapped presents for me. But I won’t celebrate it with my own father. I saw him yesterday, but the grip of Alzheimer’s disease grows ever tighter on his misfiring brain. He was unable to comprehend what Fathers day is for. It was funny at the time as he asked me would I get presents too. I should be sad. But I am not. He has been caught between a place of muddle and confusion and a place of occasional clarity for some time, but the mental mist now softens things for him. He is less aware of what goes on around him, other than those things that affect him immediately. He is living in the moment more and more. I am not sad about that, because I would rather he be happy in his mist, than muddled and confused when it clears. He is less miserable for it, though he forgets much. So it is a very different Father’s day this year, and I suspect next year he will be unaware as to why he is being given presents, though he will delight at opening them as he did yesterday. My own children gave him cause to laugh and smile when we visited as he recognised their faces, but names – even his own – are sometimes difficult to recall. They spoke to him with much kindness and a generosity of understanding – an understanding that I find hard to give – and so the smiles that they brought to his face was the best Father’s day present they could have given me. For all those of you that find Father’s day a difficult day for whatever reason, I hope you can find something to smile about too. Perhaps for my father and for many of us it should just be a ‘Happy Day’ wish – every day.

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