June 19, 2010
I love the composition of this photo. A few years ago, when Dad still had most of his faculties, he'd make a point of putting up and taking down the flag on the deck every day. I don't go in myself for explicit displays of patriotism (or explicit displays of much of anything, for that matter), but it made him happy.
Now the flag just flies all the time. Since Christmas, Dad's slowed down considerably. I've been accustomed to the steady mental deterioration, but the physical breakdown was a little surprising this time out. He needs help walking, and stairs are near impossible. They're talking about building out a bedroom on the first floor.
And now he's got this new thing, I guess -- started just a few weeks ago -- of closing his eyes while he eats. Not sleeping, just eyes closed. It's like he's just going further and further inside himself.
Whatever's still in there. Who knows? There's still the glimmer of some kind of recognition of us -- again, if not of us specifically then at least the feeling of someone familiar.
Yesterday we celebrated his 75th birthday, which was last week. Nobody knows what the next one will bring, but it's sad to think it won't be as good as this.