Jack is my beloved StepDad. His 82 years are settling in. We are also learning how to gracefully settle with the new challenges and confusion of simple everyday tasks. You know the ones we automatically perform on auto pilot? Jack might spend 15 minutes with a folded ladder in his hands, leaning on it in the yard, trying to remember where it came from. My Mom approaches him with a soft, gentle voice, asking if she can help him. Together they store the ladder just a few feet from where he fetched it from. Thank God we were there when he decided to climb it and chop down an unnecessary tree. He watches me like a hawk, as I try to repair the front door. Of course I did it all wrong, and that's OK. He was there to hold my screwdriver, and it would have been an impossible job without him. The next day he washed the glass with Bug Repellant and fixed the squeaky hinge with his (very expensive) ear drops!
In following photo he is looking at my iPhone picture I took of him. He asked if he should place it in the sunshine to recharge the battery! Brilliant idea, yet another sign of inability to connect all the dots.
Handsome fella, huh?
My Mom is a Rock Star. She lovingly offers him direction to the bathroom when he is rubbing his fuzzy chin, asking where his tools are to "remove this stuff" She kindly, patiently answers the same question every 5 minutes like it was the first time he asked. She holds his hand, he shuffles his feet. He is hurrying, she is slowing.
Every time she is in sight, he says to her "Hello Beautiful.
How's my Lovely Wife? Do you know how much I love you?"
and of course it is followed up with a huge body hug
Sometimes we miss the Old Jack and feel a little sad.
But the New Jack makes us glad.
And we embrace the fact that dinner time will be a rerun from last night, as he lights up and tells the same story of when he ate worms as a child or joined the service at 14 years of age or how much he hates raw oysters and eggplant! We laugh and listen and love.
For right now, this is all we have...and it is enough.