My Usual Sunday

My father had a fall.

I didn’t realize how bad it was until I saw him over lunch.

Half is face is black and blue.

He says it looked worse when it just happened.

I tried to not look shocked but I was.

His caregiver has been replaced.


Dad likes to walk to the kitchen at wee hours for a snack.

I suggested that he keep a bell by his side and ring it before he stands.

I’m sure he was frightened by his fall, although downplays it.

I feel helpless thinking about his situation.

It’s no different from other aging individuals.

I just wish he wasn’t so vulnerable and lonely.


Without thinking, he always shrugs off how the food isn’t anything great.

But in reality, it’s delicious!  He eats everything on his plate.

It’s a lot of food and I cannot imagine him wiping out his plate if it isn’t good.

He’s always been the kind of man that complains more than praises.

Maybe it’s a result of his loneliness.

We strolled around the mall after his meal.


I wish I wasn’t such a restless person.  

Maybe I’d be able to sit it out a little longer with him.

I had a list of errands to accomplish. 

I’m that kind of person that must tick off my “to do” list for the day.

Otherwise, why carry a list with me.


My Sunday ended with thoughts about my father.

Dad is surrounded by caring people who constantly look after him.

But it’s not enough.  He continues to long and look for what’s not possible.

I know that he craves for a life outside family and routine.

Unfortunately, it’s not something that comes easy at his late age.


He chooses to remain guarded, searching and hoping for spring to come.

I know he is grateful and appreciative when it comes to family support.

But the sadness remains masked underneath his boredom.

So much I have learned from merely observing him.

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Valentine's Day


Celebrating Valentine’s Day in the Philippines is like celebrating Christmas.  They’re big events!  While Christmas brings gifts, a week before Valentine’s brings all kinds of flowers but most especially red roses overflowing from the markets to flower stalls in the malls.  It’s crazy!!!


Restaurant reservations are difficult.  Malls are crowded with people carrying bouquets of roses.  Chocolates are abundant, all kinds of sweet stuff to puff up mostly female hearts.


I had lunch today with dad.  But it was a very short one.  He didn’t have much of an appetite and has the runs.  I received a message from his caregiver reporting that he vomited too.  He kept sneezing while we were together so maybe he caught a bug.


“ If the bathroom episodes continue and the vomiting repeats, then we take him to the hospital.”  I hope the slight “threat” gets dad feeling better soon.  He hates checking in to hospitals.


Meanwhile, I baked cookies, dusted the new cars and ate some cookies.  I have a bit of a headache.  I think it’s from worrying about dad.  He has the best doctors looking after him.  It’s just his old age that does not work in his favor.  Plus dialysis.


However, in the spirit of love and everything red today, it’s best not to panic and remain positive.  A smile, some tea to calm the nerves and maybe more cookies will do the trick!

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Silence or Resignation?

I visited dad today.



What does it mean?

He was not in a bad mood.


Just silent.

Sitting comfortably in his chair.


Staring blankly at the television.

Waiting for time to pass.


I ask a question.

I get just one simple answer.


The noise from the television relieves the pressure of silence.

He fidgets around and gets dressed.


I ask another question.

I get another simple answer.


I notice he’s lost weight.

The help notice it too.


At age 88, there’s no way he’s going to undergo anything major.

His dialysis three times a week is all he will accept.


His silence is nothing new.

In younger and better days, he was not much a talker.


When the family gets together, he remains silent.

He used to joke around but no longer shows interest.


It has become quite difficult for those who wish to engage in small talk with him.

Don’t take it personally if you’re given a cold shoulder or a blank stare.


His birthday is in 10 days.

We have a family dinner all planned out.


My father was just a young teenager during WW2.

I think this is where the silence stems from.


My aunt saw her entire family killed by the Japanese.

She eventually wrote a book and let it all out.


I recall my father saying he and his father were in hiding.

The Japanese found them and almost killed my father.


His father pleaded, saying he was a sick boy.

The Japanese eventually withdrew the gun pointed at my father.


Dad’s silence is evident.

In my own silence I wonder if it really is just silence or resignation.




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Monika Schott PhD To be the poet, and the poem
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I agree, Stephen. It's the simple things.
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