Me and My Dad Out for a Walk

More than anything else this weekend I really wanted to go out and visit my parents at long last.

Although I’ve kept in touch by phone what with one thing and another I haven’t actually seen them in person for six months, and during the four solid months of lockdown they not only both celebrated birthdays, but Dad actually spent five weeks in hospital with a chest infection and urine infection – thankfully not Covid after all, but with his spiking a high temperature and developing a bad cough, for a few worrying days we were all so scared we might lose him.

My Dad is 84 years old and has survived four strokes, and he now also has vascular dementia so not only is his mobility not great any more, but he also has good days and bad days memory-wise. Mum and Dad live in the beautiful Scottish countryside in the back of beyond, miles away from the rest of the family. So today was the first day since I went back to work three weeks ago that my husband and I could manage to go out to visit, and we all had such a great day together.

Dad walks indoors with a rollator, but struggles to keep his balance outdoors so a fortnight ago he was given a wheelchair to use outside – but he wouldn’t use it, he resisted all Mum’s efforts to get him out for a walk and refused point-blank even to try. Up until about five years ago Dad was always fit and healthy, easily walking several miles a day for pleasure, but since then sadly it’s been one thing after another for him health-wise and his walking world has shrunk accordingly.

However I’m very much my dad’s daughter, I have inherited his stubborn temperament and can often find just the right thing to say to get through to him when others fail. And so it was today – thankfully a good day dementia-wise, too. About five minutes after I learned that Dad had a wheelchair, he was in his jacket and hat and sitting comfortably, ready to go out for a walk. Mum chose to stay at home, and although my husband came with us, I pushed Dad in the wheelchair.

It felt so good to share that experience with Dad. We didn’t go far, but went along a well-known route from the past and Dad thoroughly enjoyed having a good look around to see what had changed since his last proper outdoor excursion (last September, also with us, just before the cold weather set in). We chatted and reminisced and he soon got over his initial emotional discomfort at being pushed in a wheelchair – I pointed out to him that he used to push me often enough in my pram when I was young, so it’s only fair I push him in return now he’s growing old.

To me this is the stuff of life that matters, these are the precious moments that count the most. My husband took a few lovely photographs of Dad and I together while out for our walk, and I’ve shared my favourites above. I feel so lucky at my age to still have my Dad, however old and infirm he becomes. He is, and always has been, my hero, and to be able to do something so simple for him that brings such a huge smile to his face brings me nothing but happiness wrapped up in a lifetime of love ❀

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: More

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Precious

Weekly Smile

22 thoughts on “Me and My Dad Out for a Walk

  1. Fair play to the guy getting you to do all the work!
    Actually, I was in a chair when I was in hospital, I was scared to death that my wife would push me such that I fell forward out of it, so maybe you make him feel safer than your mum does? 🀣 (Actually, that bit was true.) Keep pushing him to walk, at least indoors. It does come back.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This line is so sweet, Ruth: “I pointed out to him that he used to push me often enough in my pram when I was young, so it’s only fair I push him in return now he’s growing old.”
    I’m glad you all had a good time together. How tough that must be for your dad, needing to come to terms with using the wheelchair. Kind of reminds me of what my grandpa is going through now.

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  3. Aww I love your dad Ruth he reminds me so much of my own dad. Lovely photographs which will always be treasured. I’m so pleased you had a good day, I bet you gave your parents a lift seeing you x❀️

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  4. On, Ruth this post made me cry and at the same time I am so happy you managed to spend such quality time with your dad

    Every Tuesday was my day for looking after my dad following his strokes, it was a day my mum could meet up with her sister and it gave her a well-earned much needed break

    Dad was twenty years older than mum and died thirty years ago aged 87. Twenty years later mum too was in a wheelchair and we began again, this time was much easier I brought her to live with us.

    I hope you manage more of those precious family visits. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sue, my 78-year-old Mum is Dad’s main carer but she has 6hrs respite a week and Dad also has healthcarers coming in four times a day to check on him – neither of them want to move from where they are so we all just do our best to help them out whenever we can πŸ™‚

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      1. My mum didn’t have any help with dad, I doubt if either of us knew if anything was available back then. However, I had help with mum because I was working (part-time) for the first time in years and I was reluctant to give up. πŸ™‚

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      2. Working for a living definitely makes it more difficult to help out with the level of care we’d like for our parents, but we can only do what we can in the circumstances πŸ™‚

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