I needed twenty minutes. I only had ten. I wonder how much time my Dad has left.
There were some fabulous negative space shapes between the petals that still clung to the stems of the poppies as I painted them at the crack of dawn, eating my yogurt and granola. It didn’t seem right to turn on the light. The poppies still clung to their translucent beauty just as my father clings to life and the family he holds dear. He is forever the gentleman and the loving father. His petals are falling. I want to gather them and re-attach them, but I cannot. Alzheimer’s is a cruel and painful experience. I am grateful for the time I spend with my Dad and angry that it takes so long for me to recover from our time spent together. I wish I had more patience and could answer the same question twenty times without hearing that little bit of annoyance in my voice. Our walks together through the Great Swamp are magical, wonderful and rewarding. At the same time, they remind me of all the other walks I have taken with my dad and I miss that dad. His spirit is becoming quieter, perhaps only a whisper these days. I love him and I grieve losing him while we still walk side by side.