The Irony of Contentment

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my dad. The truth is, there hasn’t been much to write about. Melissa and I saw him last month, when we were in Taiwan. But aside from that, there just isn’t anything to report.

He’s still living in the nursing facility and confined to a wheelchair. Physically, he can move his arms somewhat, and his legs, barely. Mentally… I honestly don’t know. He still has a hard time speaking, so it’s hard to say what his mental state is at this point.

Melissa and I video chatted with my dad and my mom Sunday night. It felt good to at least be able to wish him a happy Father’s Day. But it was also hard to see him still in the same condition for several months now. It just makes me antsy and angsty all over, seeing as how there’s absolutely nothing we can do at this point, except for wait… and wait.. and wait… and wait some more…. And hope that he’ll start improving again and regain the ability to walk and talk normally.

Yeah, it was hard to see him.

But here’s the irony of it all….

As we stared into my tiny iPhone screen and talked (or attempted to talk)… as we waved spastically to each other and laughed… as Melissa picked up our cat, and my mom pointed out to my dad how fat she is (uh, the cat, not Melissa)… and as my dad then attempted to wave feebly to said cat….

I realized that this is the most content I’ve ever seen him. (It’s also the first time I’ve ever seen him wave to a cat, so there’s that, too.)

For as long as I’ve been alive, my dad has been a workaholic, sleeping maybe four hours a day and always on the go. And for as long as I can remember, my mom, my sister, and I have wanted him to just slow down a bit. We couldn’t even go on vacation for a week without him worrying that he was getting behind on his work.

Now, he’s forced to spend the majority of his days in bed, sleeping or just watching TV. I thought this lifestyle would destroy him. But no, he actually seems happy. It’s as though he’s finally able to relax now. For the first time in his life, as we’ve always wanted him to do.

And yet… I don’t know how I feel about that.

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