As I mentioned recently, it’s almost been a year since Dad’s final round of hospital stays began. Most of the memories from that time period are sad, naturally. But there were a few innocent, sweet memories collected along the way.
When Dad came back to Ruidoso after being in the dementia wing of the nursing home in Roswell for almost a year, he ended up at the local hospital for a respiratory infection. It was the first time I had seen Dad since summer and I was shocked by his emaciated frame and his non-responsiveness. It was pretty clear that this appeared to be the beginning of the end.
One day, two fresh-faced nursing students were making rounds. They stopped into Dad’s room, perky and bright. One of them exclaimed about Dad: “He’s so sweet! I just want to take him home with me!”
She could have been talking about a puppy, but instead she was referring to my Dad, who was slowly wasting away before us. Yet in her youthful eyes, she saw something precious. Perhaps that was naive on her part, but it was refreshing in the moment.