It was a nice day, so I decided to take Dad for a ride. He doesn’t get out too much, so I thought a little fresh air might rev him up.
First we stopped at a spot by the river flowing through the park. We walked a short distance to a swinging bench. I supplied the muscle to keep us rocking, and I also expected to supply the topics for conversation. Dad used to remember the distant past much better than the recent past, but dementia is even stealing those long-ago memories. But today, swinging there by the river, we reminisced about the river that ran along our farm. He was telling stories about specific times when it flooded, but I just half-listened. I was caught up in my own memories of being a boy on the farm. I spent a lot of time around farm machinery that could do great harm, and I remember at least twice when my father literally saved my life. I swelled with gratitude and joy as he continued to talk. We both had a good time there – remembering.
Before I took him back, I drove past a small lake. There were several other people there, many walking around. So, I was driving really slow, but that was all right. The weather allowed all our windows to be down; it was a good day to drive slow. Then I became extra cautious. A man and a very young boy were wanting to walk across the road in front of me, but I wasn’t sure if the boy would wait. When I saw the man put his hand on the boy’s shoulder to keep him still, I just slowly rolled by and smiled. That’s when I heard the man say, “You can go now, son. It’s safe.” That father could have reminded me of Dad, and I’m surprised Dad wasn’t the first person to come to mind. Instead, he reminded me of my Father whose invisible hand sometimes holds me still until it’s safe for me to move ahead. Sometimes I don’t even know when He does it. But I’m glad He does.
The day out with Dad was a double blessing. Yep. It was a good day for a ride.