Youngest sister is passionate, energetic, accomplished and ambitious. She usually gets her way. She also genuinely still loves her father and wants to take care of him. It is true she has become more urgent about his need to let go and leave each time she has visited, but dad never balked before now. It appears youngest sister has broken through the cloud of vague promises and encountered the brick wall of my father’s stubbornness.
She let us know by e-mail this morning. While my father does not explicitly say the he does not wish to move, he refuses to take any steps towards moving, or to allow anyone else to help him. She thinks she’s done. She and Donnie will sell the bungalow in Niagara. After months of flying back and forth, planning and spending countless dollars in renovations, all for his care, she is going to leave him alone.
I’m not sure dad understands the mistake he’s made. Yes, he has a comfortable little life in the Maritimes with Kathie Rose, and he doesn’t have any financial problems, thanks to his disabled veteran’s benefit. But he has very few friends in his town. We don’t much like it where he lives and the brother and sister out west are too far away to visit regularly. He will be unable to travel much. I suppose I won’t see him a lot.
My father underwent a character change after my mother’s death. Usually aloof, and bitingly sardonic, he became almost sweet, grateful for small kindnesses and interested in others. We wondered how long this would last. Not that long, it turns out. He has reverted to his usual self-contained oblivious demeanour. As I had noted while my mother was dying, her children weren’t the most important thing to her, and I think that’s the case with my father. He has solitaire to play, naps to take, papers to read. He doesn’t need us.
Read Past Episodes of the Caregiver’s Diary:
Part 1: “A Good End”
Part 2: “Seamless Care”
Part 3: “Dealing with Dad”
Part 4: “No Grieving Please”
Part 5: “Aftermath”
Part 6: “Driven To Distraction”
Part 7: “A Grand Affair”
Part 8: Plans Change
Part 9: “A New Home”
Part 10: “A New Year”
Keywords: caregivers, diary