It’s only been two weeks since my father passed away, and he’s been in my thoughts a lot, but I’ve noticed something interesting and fantastic about my memories of him as of late.
Dad suffered from Dementia and PPA for about seven years. We watched him decline from a hard-working, smart and funny man into someone who needed constant care. During the last few years, my thoughts of him centered around his care and health. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I couldn’t really see past his current state and my memories of him earlier in my life had become clouded.
Over the past few weeks I’ve found memories of my dad regularly popping into my head, I’ll wake up in the middle of the night with some random thought of him or I’ll think about him while doing some innocuous task. But few of these memories are of him as being sick. Instead they’ve been thoughts of him as a healthy, strong and vibrant man, not necessarily a young man, but a healthy and happy one.
Even small details have reverted to earlier times. As dad became less able to care for himself, he grew a goatee which reduced the amount of face that he, or later we needed to shave. But the image of him that’s been in my mind since lately sports only the bushy mustache that he wore for most of his adult life.
I’m not sure why my mind is working this way. My wife suggests that all of the stories that we’ve been sharing about him have reset my brain in some way and maybe she’s right. I’m also guessing that I’m subconsciously trying to concentrate on the good times, which were numerous.