It’s almost like they are still here.
I pour Dad a glass of wine and I pour a glass of wine for myself.
I walk to his chair – his glass I place on the silver platter that Mom had put beside his chair to keep the table from being affected by the sweat from the glass. I sit in Mom’s green chair beside his pink chair .. and I toast his glass. “Sante, Dad”, I say. To your health.
He doesn’t cheer back except in my mind. And then it hits me. He is gone.
I wander down the hall to his bedroom where so often I helped Dad to get out of bed. The walker is still there beside his slippers. The slippers are worn on the bottom in the spots where he tread more heavily. I see him sitting there – waiting for the blood to even out in his body so that he won’t fall when he stands. The brakes are “on” on his walker while he pulls himself to his feet.
“Ahh”, he says. And closes his eyes. And then he’s ready. Off we go down the hall to the “pink” chair this time to have his glass of wine with me.
We move slowly. Mom used to hold his belt buckle as though her tiny frame could prevent him from falling. I think it was more security for her than him quite frankly.
Yes – the pink chair will do just fine. We wheel up beside the chair, elevate the chair to make it easier for him to sit. We move the walker close so that Dad and I can “dance” while he shifts his weight and shuffles his feet to align himself to sit. Down he goes. BRRRRRR goes the electric chair back down to a more comfortable angle.
“Wine, Bill?” asks Ana or Dorothee.
“Are you going to join me, Stacey?” asks Dad.
“Sure, Dad.” I answer.
The wine is served. “Thanks, Dorothee.”
“Sante” we cheer each other. A clink of the glasses and we take our first sip. The first sip is always the sweetest. We are together – united by our wish for “good health”.
“Sante” I wish Dad today. The picture frame rolls photo after photo and Anne Murray plays on.
An image of my oldest son, Ben, appears. He is with “Poppa”. Poppa is grinning with pride for his graduate – he is tired.
… and we are back to reality. Time to pay bills – for Bill.
The pink chair sits – ready for Dad. Always ready for me. Glass of wine still full.