Dad and I had very few one-on-one conversations with each other. My mom usually led the family discussions, and my dad would just kind of hang out in the background. Over the years, he learned to tune out my mom quite effectively! (Mom loves to talk and doesn’t necessarily seek feedback, so that’s why their relationship worked.)
Years ago, before Dad had dementia, I told my parents that I had tested as gluten intolerant and had to go on a gluten-free diet permanently. My mom had a ton of questions, but my dad didn’t have much of a reaction either way. Not a big deal, Mom was the cook of the family.
Years later, when Dad was at the moderate level of dementia, my mom gave me the following prayer request. It had been an extremely difficult day (which I will explain in another post) and my mom pulled this card out of her purse and quietly said, “I thought you would want this.”
It was one of those Catholic prayer request cards. Dad had filled it out, but never mailed it. I’m glad he didn’t. It’s a bit difficult to read, so here’s what it says:
“My daughter Joy who has an eating problem for several years now. She is restricted to a diet where she has to avoid wheat in her food. Under no circumstances can she eat food with wheat in it. Your prayers will be appreciated.”
Wow. I was blown away that Dad had been paying attention all those years ago. My mom and I shared a sad smile across the table as Dad sat next to us, oblivious to the emotions filling the room.