Life is a learning experience. And sometimes you just have to find the humor and laugh a bit. I found this moment when getting my father’s things together for him to go to the senior rehabilitation facility. Since he will be there a few weeks, they had a list of things to make sure he brought with him.
I think I must now know what parents go through when preparing their child for summer camp. I went in his closet and gathered everything I thought he might need. And he definitely has the closet of a man who has lived in South Georgia. It’s is 35 outside and he has 4 sweaters. I had to dig in the bottom of a back drawer to find the thermals and a few sweatshirts. (Santa will be bringing him warm clothes this year…). His favorite blanket, pillow, glasses, house slippers all added to the pile.
But before any of those items can make it to his room, they must all be labeled. So I got out the trusty marker and wrote his name on everything. This is definitely like summer camp. He gets fed three times a day. They have activities for him to do. There are doctors and nurses on staff. They make sure he is not bored and stays busy. He gets to meet new friends…
Then I go down the list admittance gave me …Underwear, check. Shirts, check. Pants and jeans, check. House shoes, check. Tennis shoes…um?? He is 80, he doesn’t wear tennis shoes. And sweat pants for him to work out in? Oh, dear…I saw a trip to the store in the near future.
While at the store I fought back the mischievous urge to buy the flashy fluorescent colored tennis shoes and went with the more sensible looking ones. Only to have to return them because they were the wrong size. Only to have to return them again because his feet were swollen and he needed a larger size. He now has some jazzy new sweat pants and matching shirts. No doubt he will be stylin’ and profilin’ in the physical therapy gym. All he needs now is a great pair of sunglasses. And he is scheduled for a hair cut and shave later today.
I have noticed that he is in the sweat pants all the time now when I go see him. He may never wear jeans again. At some point when I visit him I am fully expecting to hear ZZ Top’s Sharp Dressed Man playing in the background as he walks down the hallway.
Yes, he is a man on a mission; that mission being to work hard and get strong enough to come home. Until then he will be whooping it up at Winter Camp.