My two brothers and I, with our children, have all descended on the Florida town where my parents are renting an apartment for the winter. My mother’s desire to take my father, who at 90 years of age, is wheelchair-bound, out of the apartment for meals, movies, and tonight for s’mores, knows no bounds.
After an early dinner at a restaurant with my parents, my five-year-old niece had invited us back to their hotel, which had a gas fire pit, for s’mores. I thought it was too much for my father and encouraged my mother to get him home and to bed. She was adamant that he was up for joining us.
Sitting around the fire pit as we roasted marshmallows, wedged them between two graham cracker cookies with a chunk of chocolate, was great fun. My father just sat there in his wheelchair silently, but with a big smile on his face. Even though he said little throughout the evening, he looked happy and was enjoying being with three of his children and his grandchildren.
My mother was right. It is good to keep pushing my dad and get him out in the world as much as possible. Even though he is fading from this world, the world still brings him some pleasure. He can barely communicate anymore, says no more than a word or two, but seems to enjoy going out and being with family.
It is not clear to me what my father sees or understands, but he does know all of us by name and recognizes us every time he sees us. Even with my new beard, grown right before this trip, dad knew me.
This is probably the last time we will all be together like this with my father alive. It was a fun and enjoyable evening.