Stillwater News Press

Local Columnists

June 28, 2014

Down Home 06-29-14

If only he could remember my name

I should have went on Father’s Day, but I didn’t.

The one day a year specifically meant for dads and I don’t show up for my own father.

The visits with Dad are usually so unnerving it takes me several weeks to talk myself into going. When he’s awake most times I’ll find him pedaling up and down the hallway in his wheelchair and he gets agitated if I try to stop him from whereever he’s going. I’ve tried showing up at lunchtime but he’s so infatuated with eating everyone else’s’ meal, it doesn’t usually pan out very well either.

The hospice nurses and staff give me weekly reports and sometimes they say he even talked to them but I haven’t been so lucky.

If he does speak it’s only a couple of words that sound more like gibberish than anything else. He fully recovered from the aspirated food in his lungs, which caused him to have breathing problems, although the prostrate issues are becoming more evident.

I decided to change it up and visit him in the morning. For quite awhile he wouldn’t allow the staff to get him out of bed until after 10, so I was hoping he’d be awake. When they said he was in his room sleeping I figured this was going to be a short visit as I typically can’t get him to wake up and the longer I try to entice him to open his eyes the more I have to duck from his swings to leave him alone.

When I sat next to him on his bed I didn’t expect his eyes to pop open. “What’s your name?” he said so clearly I was shocked for a minute I couldn’t think of what to say. My name didn’t ring a bell for him so then I added, your daughter. Still, nothing, and I chided myself for expecting him to recognize me. “I didn’t do anything,” he said which was his favorite one liner when I’d ask what happened to the box of snacks he’d consume in less than 30 minutes, as he’d try to wipe the remnants off his mouth.

We sat and stared at each other for the longest time and then I started rambling on about our many days and evenings we spent sitting at the picnic table in his backyard enjoying the birds and a glass of lemonade.

He was listening but not saying a word. I continued on, talking about my childhood home in which I took care of him for so many years.

The hospice nurse arrived for his morning shower and still he wouldn’t take his eyes off of mine. She seemed just as surprised he was so focused and was staring at me so intently.

She left quietly and I began reciting his stories from World War II he’d told me so many times they will be forever engrained in my memory.

He asked me again who I was. I told him again. He simply said, “miss” and I swear there were tears in his eyes or maybe those were mine.

The nurse came back. It was time to go. I told him I loved him. He said, “what’s your name again?”

Sandy Turner writes about family and lives in the Midwest.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Columnists
  • 3- Pool Mom of three children Jacinta Sears.jpg AND, STILL THE WATER RUNS: Stillwater pool teams shooting for national championships in Las Vegas

    July 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • AT THE LIBRARY: 7-27-2014

    July 26, 2014

  • HELPING HANDS 7-27-2014

    July 26, 2014

  • Live Well 07-27-14

    The topic of the legal drinking age is an ongoing debate among American politician and citizens. Among the countries that set a legal drinking age, 18 is the most common. Along with Mongolia, Indonesia, Palau and several states in India and Egypt, the United States is an outlier with a minimum purchase age of 21.

    July 26, 2014

  • GREATHERON.jpg Life at Boomer Lake 07-27-14

    The presence of the fledglings is rare, but there are still several juvenile birds around if one looks for them, like the American Robin and the Northern Mockingbird. I have seen nesting Eastern Bluebirds over the past couple of days, so we’re not over the hump of raising young yet.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • Down Home 07-27-14

    This isn’t the first time and more than likely it won’t be the last. I’m putting myself back on the wagon as I’ve eaten my way through the last pile of “fat” clothes I have stashed in my closet.

    July 26, 2014

  • In the Garden 07-27-14

    Quercus is the Latin name for oak. It is a quirky name; some believe its roots came from the Celtic word for “fine tree.” Anyone familiar with oaks knows they are indeed fine trees.

    July 26, 2014

  • Concerning Kids 07-26-14

    Just last week, I was at a family gathering and one of my cousins found out that I’m a teen librarian.  
    “My son is 11 but he reads at an 11th grade level,” my cousin said. “He loves to read but it’s so hard to find books that are challenging for him and have age appropriate content. What do I do?”

    July 25, 2014

  • Farmers Market

    The Stillwater Farmers Market is open every Monday at Stillwater Medical Center from 2-5:30 p.m. and every Wednesday and Saturday in Strickland Park at the corner of Hall of Fame Avenue and Main Street from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
    What’s at market this week?

    July 23, 2014

  • The Library Shelf 07-22-14

    Payne County gardeners soon will be reaping the benefits of the hard work put into their vegetable gardens all summer long.  
    To help community members maximize their summer harvest, Stillwater Public Library is presenting “Yes We Can,” an introductory class on preserving food at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 7.

    July 22, 2014

Buy & Share Photos
NewsPress e-Edition
NewsPress Specials
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Must Read