Sooooo, Dad came with us to our mountain home for Labor Day weekend. We were joined by our son, our daughter-in-law and our two grandsons, ages five months and three and a half years. Amidst the racing cars, the rattles, the Lego blocks and the sippy cups and burp cloths, Dad wove his way from room to room, constantly asked what day we were going home and camped out in my husband's study in front of our new plasma tv where he was surrounded on a rotating basis by the children, my husband and my son.
He was morose.
Sunday we all left him to fare for himself while we went for a hike. (I realized later that I was totally out of cell phone reception and that he'd have to call my brother in Chicago or 911 if anything went wrong...oh the guilt). Upon our return, we all unwound, exhausted from our adventure. Around four, my husband tapped me on my tired shoulder to say my dad was hungry. Apparently he hadn't had much to eat for lunch. Both of us had told him what to find in the refrigerator but he didn't put forth much of an effort. I hurriedly rushed into the kitchen, whipped out guacamole, salsa and chips for us and Edam cheese and stone wheat crackers for Dad. (I knew he would probably have preferred salami but I didn't have time to get to the grocery store.) I placed the spread in the study for all to munch on along with small plates and napkins. About a half hour later, he brings his plate with remnants of the cheese and crackers into the kitchen where I am preparing dinner. I look at the half-filled plate and he says to me, "It's not my style." I respond with acceptance, "Sorry, Dad. What is your style?" He looks at me with an empty gaze, "I don't know," he says.
I'm frustrated with his inability to find his happy place and thinking maybe I'll call the doctor when we return to see if he'll prescribe some anti-depressants. The way he is behaving is like his reading patterns. He reads a book for thirty pages and then sets it down. Our trip to the mountains is the same. He comes with expectations but then loses interest. I'm at a loss.