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Now and then, I am reminded that the words ‘new’ and ‘improved’ are not always the same.

My father has Parkinson’s. It’s been almost twelve years now, though sometimes I forget (as does he). This year has been hard on him. I think he spent too much time in the garden without water in the Spring, and the effects are wearing. He’s lost weight since March and the jeans I got him last Christmas are falling off.

I’m not the only one to notice. At a doctor’s appointment this past week, he was given three suggestions to make his life better. One was the possibility of getting a hospital bed. He asked if I thought it would help him, and I told him I felt that any benefit would be negated by not sleeping next to my mother. He chuckled in such a way that I knew the same thought had occurred to him.

The second suggestion was that he go to physical therapy. I told him that would be good and reminded him that an old friend of mine who used to go our church worked there. He had forgotten and I am sure he’ll follow-through.

She also recommended he gain some weight. Earlier in the Spring, I suggested he drink Boost (or some version to help with his intake of proteins, etc). He eats good; but as a rule, it’s not foods that will put weight on.  I had also read something about how athletes eat peanut butter to help them gain weight (a heaping tablespoon three or four times a day).

‘I like peanut butter. I loved it when I was a kid, but we didn’t have it much. It was too expensive.’ (my tears)

‘I like it too.’

‘My mama would make biscuits and peanut butter for me to take for lunch. It was about a half mile walk. They never made it to lunch. Most times, they never made it to the school. (little boy laugh) I grew up in another time.’

‘A good time, daddy.’

I’ve never had biscuits with peanut butter, but last night, I made a pan of biscuits. This morning, I had one for breakfast (with peanut butter). It was good. But then again, I couldn’t help but imagine how good it tasted to a little boy with dirty hands and eyes the same as mine.

within these times
of letting go –
love is settled softly
with stories
of before
where I
a dream

. . .