“I’m modest,” Dad says in his dressing gown, crossing his arms around his shrugged shoulders when I offer to help him into his bath.
Instead, I listen from down the hall, nervous, as he climbs in and then out.
“I’m not an old man yet!” he says when I tell him he’s on the waitlist for the local elderly bathing facility.
It’s time I put my Warden foot down, and inform him that bath day is now Friday so that Nicol can help him get in and out.
I’ve been avoiding it.
“Are you okay?” I ask, checking in on him after the hard work of getting dressed is complete.
“I’ll never be okay again,” says Dad rolling his walker out of his room.
The last time I was at the farm, Dad had a cold and fell out of his chair while getting up to go to the doctor.
“I thought you had dropped dead,” said Mum as we leaned over his frail frame tucked into a ball for the drop and roll.
“He can’t be that hurt” said Mum to me, “He’s tickling my leg,” as we picked him up off the floor.
“I’ve made some decisions,” he says as I lay with him on my next visit, “I’m not going to church anymore.”
I ask him why.
“I’m too unsteady on my feet,” he says, “I didn’t fall on my ass this much when I was drinking a bottle of scotch a day.”
I don’t give him a hard time. Hopefully, he’ll feel differently in the morning.
“Don’t be sad when I go,” he says, “I’ve had a good run.”
My nightmares have returned. In them, Dad is dying and I’m helpless.