CALL ME, “FLORIDA!”

I know you must be thinking, “What the Dickens, she’s talking about?” But, don’t worry; it will soon be revealed. You see, as we all grow older, unfortunately, some of us will lose our cognitive abilities. These abilities allow us to make important decisions, remembering, thinking and otherwise.

As scientists will tell you, an aging brain will also go through a shrinking process. Therefore, it’s very vital that we take care of this very important organ. It needs perpetual exercises and work in order to be in tip top shape. Some of the ways we could all challenge our brains is to get out of our comfort zone and learn something new, like playing a musical instrument, learn a different language, and try to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Some of us will sadly undergo brain trauma caused by an injury or even from chronic ailments such as diabetes, hypertension and otherwise. Gone untreated, these illnesses, can be very debilitating and deadly. Like many across the globe, these diseases hit closer to home for me. Thus, when dear dad developed diabetes, he tried to alter his lifestyle to a healthier one; however, it was much too late. It was the beginning of the end for him.

Overtime, dad developed vascular dementia. His cognitive abilities went. He was slower with his words, oftentimes, he repeated himself and sometimes he would even hanged up the phone in the middle of a conversation. My siblings and I knew it was time to seek help for our dad. On the onset, although he was reluctant to have a stranger in his home. Thank God, we were able to secure someone who resided in the neighborhood who was like family. Ms. Little was compassionate, caring and patient.

As time elapsed, so did a dad’s memory and his sun shiny personality. It broke my heart to see my dad in this debilitating way. After all, he was our stronghold, protector and patriarch of our family. But, thank God, a small percentage of his brain was still intact. Small mercies are better than none.

Being away from home made it even worse because I never got the opportunity to care for him. Ms. Little oftentimes play his favorite music on the stereo so as to soothe mind and soul. And, whenever I called, she informed that he always smiled and placed him in a great mood for an extended time. Hail to the power of music.

It’s uncanny how things seemed to work itself out. It reached a point where dear dad couldn’t remember my name; however, he knew it was me. He knew where I resided. Therefore, he found a way; an unusual one. He called me “Florida”. And why not? When you think about it, Florida is the sun-shine state and quite freeing for a free-spirited gal like me. I’ll will take Florida any day.

Though it saddened me, after while it placed a smile on my face because I knew that it was his loving way of remembering me. I had to face the reality that though, a lot has gone and missing, sometimes, it’s best to surrender and ride with the status quo instead of fighting. It was best to focus on the blessings and beauty that remained. I don’t think I have told any of my siblings.

Rest In Peace, dear Bobsy, my dear dad.

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