It was good to see Dad sitting on the porch. With several other residents, he was enjoying the spring day. I’m pretty sure he thought I was either a nurse or a visitor for someone else, as he didn’t have that same twinkle in his eye I sometimes get a glimpse of when I visit.

It was good to see Dad sitting on the porch. With several other residents, he was enjoying the spring day. I’m pretty sure he thought I was either a nurse or a visitor for someone else, as he didn’t have that same twinkle in his eye I sometimes get a glimpse of when I visit.

The entire time we sat outside, Dad had few comments, although he seemed to enjoy the conversation I was having with another gentleman who came to live in the home when he could no longer physically take care of himself.

This man and I started sharing stories about Dad. Mine from the days he lived in his own home and his being the mischief Dad has gotten into since moving into the nursing home.

Dad would nod in agreement, as if we were talking about someone else, and would laugh at the appropriate times and shake his head in disbelief at others.

The man told me Dad still likes to sort his poker chips and hardware that I brought with him to his new home. It had become a daily routine for us, as I tried to find things to occupy his time inside, as he seemed to get into more trouble while outside.

Typically the only news I get from the nurses is when Dad falls and hurts himself or starts a fight with someone. It was fun to hear Dad is still finding ways to get into some harmless mischief.

Just the other day, the man said, there was a frog hopping around the patio and while the other residents were curiously watching where it was going to go next, Dad decided to end it by going over and smashing it with his foot. Although the scene doesn’t sound very pleasant, I was impressed he still has it in him to be that coordinated.

The doors going outside aren’t locked, although the alarm goes off whenever it’s opened without putting in the code first. With the spring weather, Dad’s been setting off the alarm several times an hour. The man reported that once in awhile he even makes it to the fenced-in backyard before someone comes to retrieve him, although sometimes the nurses find that he’s decided to make a pit stop in the grass first.

Talking about all of the near catastrophes we encountered when Dad had to be alone while I was at work brought back so many emotions, from being relieved he’s now in a safe place to being sad I’m no longer his caretaker.

I told them about Dad cutting the power line with fiberglass-handled tree trimmers, thinking it was a tree limb, or how he had once put the car in neutral instead of park and it rolled over his legs while he was trying to stop it from going down the driveway.

Eventually Dad murmured, “that guy is an idiot.”

“That guy” wasn’t the idiot. I was, for being selfish and almost waiting too long to get the help we needed.

I love that guy.