After everything is said and done, there comes the moment to say goodbye.
Last week went by like a roller coaster. Busy with arranging everything and seeing, that my father doesn’t recognise me any more, it was bearable. More a question of getting the best possible care for him and putting my mom at ease about the financial side of it.
And then, of course, there was also my sister and her family. Although there was not much time left to spent with them, I had the opportunity to take my nieces to the movies Friday night. They picked a film to also suit their youngest sister aged 12. Turned out to be a great film about a boy in the alps, finding an eagle baby thrown out of its nest, raising it to be freed in the end. The movie is called “Brothers of the Wind” and I thought this would be just the thing for my mom. So I cut my visit to circumstance short, to come back Sunday evening to take my mom to the movie theatre, too. For years, she wasn’t able to leave the house for long, looking after my dad. And according to her, it’s been 30 odd years, since she last was at the movies at all. She thouroughly enjoyed the experience. Her comment: “This was way better than any TV.” I am happy, she is now able to do something to enjoy herself, without being worried sick about rushing home again, lest my dad needs her.
With the nice memories of the time spent with circumstance at her house and the always soothing influence of the gentle countryside in the South of Styria, I faced the last day back in the mountainous northern region, where I was born and raised. And where I knew, I would have to leave my dad behind on Monday.
Only during the last half hour before I had to leave to catch my flight, he woke up from sleep and finally did recognise me. He mumbled my name and said, did I come all the way from Germany. And that he is in no good shape. That was all he could say, but he never let go of my hands, pressing them all the time. He tried so hard to open his eyes to look at me, but struggled and fell asleep again, humming in a peculiar way close to plaint. All that can be expressed from father to daughter was right there, beetween his clutching hands and that sounds he made. It will stay with me for ever.