One bit of trivia you might not know about me…. way back in 1989, I brought my dad along on my first date with the man who not too long after that became my husband. Another Father became involved in my relationship with Dixon, too.
Father John Young had been an important part of our family life since I was not much older than George. He heard my first confession, was there when I was confirmed, and, after thorough and often really quite hilarious pre-marriage counseling, joined Dixon and me in the Sacrament of Matrimony.
Dixon and I didn’t get to have a honeymoon right after our wedding. It was delayed a few months, and we spent it staying in Father John’s rectory. Really. Not too many years after that, he started baptizing our babies…. Emily at his church, Sam at ours, and then when we got to Brian, we decided to go one step further and ask him to be his Godfather.
I’m still in Michigan with my parents, so today we drove to South Haven to see Father John. Just spending time with him was definitely on my must-do list for this amazing vacation…. although it was the part that I most wished Dixon and the kids were here for. Father John has Alzheimers disease, and it’s really so very sad. He is no longer driving, but he still says Mass, although with some help. There’s a new pastor at his church, but Father John continues to be very involved. It was really sad several times when he talked about doing some things for the last time, or couldn’t at first remember a trip to Rome and Malta he and my dad took together…. and he is having a terrible time figuring out his cell phone.
Then I looked at his cell phone. It is the tiniest, least intuituve cell phone I have ever seen. Terrible. I so hope that he believed us, and will remember, when we were telling him that his struggles were due to the phone, not his dementia. His birthday is April 29, he turns 80. I told him that if ANYBODY asks him what he wants for his birthday, tell them “I need a new cell phone!” I hope he remembers.
I’ve had the best vacation this week. True rest and enough time with my parents to really talk. My mom and I sewed, and sewed, and sewed… that deserves its own post. My dad spent his week trying to find ways to make my life easier and to figure out how he could personally remove any burdens that he could take on.
…. lots of little things to make my life easier. Why was I going up and down the stairs, he asked? To change off the socks drying on my sock blockers. Within an hour, he had a solution, he made me three new sets of sock blockers out of a worn out rotary cutting mat, so that I could dry all the socks at once and not have to go up and down the stairs.
See? Look up at the very top and you can tell what they’re made of. These socks are the latest up for auction, by the way.
And speaking of auctions. I was sewing with my mom last night and mentioned to my dad that when we were done, I needed to package a few ebay wins for some wonderful friends who are, honestly, overwhelming me and the Archer family with their generosity. He said he would be happy to package, label, ship, etc, himself. He would love to take any burden possible from me. But this one I wanted to do, it was important to me. So I came down to the kitchen after he’d gone to sleep and found this:
He’d set up the ultimate art wrapping and packaging center ever, so that i had to look for nothing, so that I didn’t have to walk down more steps to the basement. Even tissue and ribbons and markers… just in case.
So there are five parcels leaving Kalamazoo tomorrow morning. I had the same regret as last time…. but I knew that if I waited to send everything until I had written a proper thank you letter, they’d never get to their destination.
I am on my way back to Charlotte this afternoon. I have missed my husband and my babies. Speaking of fathers, Dixon has done an amazing job. I’m sure he’s exhausted, but when he recovers, I think I need to come back here soon. Two fathers here are too valuable to me to stay away from for so long.