Later that afternoon, when Aunt Milly and my cousin, Mary, stopped by to visit, Milly took her usual seat right next to Dad's chair, so it would be easier to hear Dad's voice, which is quite a bit weaker than it used to be. But even there, she couldn't hear anything he was saying. I was sitting across the room, and I was repeating every phrase Dad would say so that Milly could hear. Finally, Milly said, "I'll have to wear my hearing aids next time." Dad countered, "No, you won't." Milly: "What?! I said, I'll have to wear my hearing aids next time." Dad answered, "No, you won't - you've said that the last three times, and you still don't have them in."
Last night, when Milly and Mary came to visit, Dad needed to go to the bathroom, so we lifted him from his recliner, transferred him into the wheelchair, and rolled him back to the bedroom. As we were going down the hall, Milly said she would like to help transfer him sometime. [For those who don't know my family, Milly is almost 90 years old, and uses a wheeled walker and oxygen tank. I doubt that she could easily lift a gallon of milk, much less her younger brother.] When we came back and got Dad settled into his chair again, he surprised us with this exchange:
Dad: You know, Milly - I was thinking about your offer to help, and I think you should help with moving me.
Milly: Well, everyone thinks I can't help, but I know I could help out.
Dad: Because, since this all started, one of my desires has been for my life to end quickly.
Poor Milly just shook her head, but the rest of us howled with laughter.
While I'm talking family, I have to also mention what a devoted son Jay has been. He's figured out the insurance coverage for the CNA's, handled banking issues for Mom, taken my girls out for lunch and to run errands, and continued working his job from here. He's been a godsend for Mom and Dad, and he's continuing to stay on here to help. Our extended family has been amazing, too - bringing delicious meals for us all week and having my girls over to play. The girls and I are heading home tomorrow to get back for school orientations and doctor appointments, but it's been a wonderful time to spend with family, especially Jay, Mom and Dad. What a lesson in how to give of yourself, live well and leave 'em laughing.