Monday, April 30, 2012

My Daddy Tribute: Q is for Quiet

It was hard to come up with a word for the letter Q that accurately describes my father. I even tried to do a search for adjectives and other words, but none of them really seemed to fit. So, I have resorted to just using "quiet."

Usually when you think of the word "quiet" you think of someone's volume. My father wasn't that kind of quiet, nor was he loud. When I associate the word "quiet" with my father, I think more along the lines of holding things in. Dad was not someone who spoke a lot about his true feelings, as in his deeper emotions. He believed that people talked too much and accused me of regularly oversharing. He probably would be freaking out if he knew that I have been writing about him all month on this blog.

When my father mourned, he held it in. He never liked to allow anyone to see him cry. When he succumbed to his grief, he tried to turn it off as quickly as possible. He didn't like to talk about his feelings. Sure, he shared his opinions, but that was different. He also would hold back on his other emotions. I have only a few memories of really hugging my father when I was a kid. I never doubted that he loved me, but he wasn't always hugging on us like my mother did. It wasn't until his later years that he finally started to give in to his emotions and to demonstrate them in public. His mother was exactly the same way.

Dad was opposed to talking publicly about Mom's Alzheimer's for a very long time. I was even forbidden to discuss it outside of the family. He finally came around to wanting to talk about it and to share about it thirteen months ago, on the eve of this challenge last year. I had told him that I wanted to start a blog called How to Laugh at Alzheimer's. Its purpose would be for us to share our journey with Mom and to reach out to others in similar situations. He conceded and looked forward to contributing. But two weeks later, just before I could get him set up to help me with it, he went into the coma. I guess he was destined to remain quiet.

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