I went to see my dad this week and I took him an apple.
It was a fall apple, in fact a friend had picked them for me. So a special one.
I thought about seeing him eating apples my whole life, crunching loudly as he ate them, in a hurry, almost angry with the apple. That was a bit the way he enjoyed food- he loved it in a desperate way.
I presented the apple cut, as you do for people who are little or who are old or who are in the late stages of Dementia, to make it easier to eat.
He could not pick the piece up.
I put it in his hands.
He still did not know what to do.
I lifted his hand to his mouth
Still no connection
I took a piece and fed it to him.
He opened his mouth and closed his teeth around the piece but could not crunch down.
It was stuck there the way a bone would be stuck in the mouth of a dog.
He did not know how to bite through or release it.
His eyes were pleading, I think.
I felt sadness hit me like a punch to the gut that winds you.
I tried to get it from him, now like a stick from a puppy’s mouth- and it took several minutes.
He did not understand what it was.
It is an apple, dad.
You have always loved them.
Change is hard for me when it is moving away from something I love although it is a part of life so I find my way, as we all do, to acclimatize to it. This week there is an end to an era in my life- it is not terrible but I am very reluctant to let go of it