Have you ever missed someone who is still here?
My papa was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer's in 2008. He was forgetting things, doing silly things and got lost driving.
That's how it started.
Five years later he has declined greatly. He has no idea who most people are. He can't dress himself anymore. He stares at a blank TV screen. He tells the most bizarre stories. He doesn't recognize himself in a picture.
Sometimes he remembers. Sometimes he knows who people are. Sometimes he can remember details. Sometimes he talks about lake city. Sometimes he can be so clear.
I have had this odd lonely feeling for the past couple months. I could not for the life of me figure out where it was coming from. And it was getting stronger on the daily. A few days ago I finally figured it out.
I miss him.
I miss doing inspections with him. I miss playing cribbage. I miss going to bars with him. I miss his meatloaf. I miss him getting mad at me. I miss him trying to fix things in the house. I miss him complaining that I have to many hoodies. I miss his cigar smoke smell. I just miss him.
My papa was (is) like my best friend. I talked to him every single day of my life.
It is the weirdest feeling to have because physically he is still here. It is heartbreaking to look into his eyes and there is nothing there.
He is still a pretty happy guy. And he still smiles... That smile.
I just miss him.