Sometimes it is your circus, and these are your monkeys.
I wanted to scream, but that would do no good at all except to make my throat feel worse than it did. The thing of it is, there have been so few times in my entire life where I can honestly say I've been mad or even annoyed with my Dad because he's been a pretty wonderful father and I couldn't have imagined a better one both as a child and as an adult. Barbe Cook has nearly always been patient, kind, funny, amusingly wry and reasonable. My dad's decision to pass on wearing a device which would save our voices and allow him to hear everything around him is not reasonable, but it's his decision. Have you ever tried to argue with a deaf 90 year old? It's a pointless exercise and I promise, you're not going to win.
That's not to say that I haven't wished I could superglue those ear buds into his ear but it wouldn't work and he'd figure a way to remove them. I'm so tired of playing charades.
Grappling with my disappointment and yes, my anger, I made a conscious decision: I needed to remember that this was still the guy who spent hours treading water in the Holiday Inn Wrightsville Beach swimming pool when I was 12 years old, waiting for me to summon the courage to dive off the board; the man who made me believe I could pass college chemistry when I was staying up all night worrying myself sick that I would fail miserably; the man who took me to the airport numerous times assuring me I would have a great flight and that I would be fine flying across the Atlantic Ocean all by myself; the man who embraced me with so much love after hitting the lowest point in my life courtesy of my drinking and took me home and loved and supported my journey into sobriety, never once allowing me to feel that I could fail or that I would be anything but successful.
When put into perspective, declining to use a hearing aid is a mere blip in an otherwise amazingly warm, loving and precious relationship. Oh yes, I still get miffed, pissed and profoundly irritated that I have to yell in order for him to know that his dinner is ready or that it's time for him to take his meds and I imagine I'll need to remind myself many more times that my dad's current actions aren't a true depiction of who he is. He's 90 years old. He's tired. His abilities are waning at an accelerated rate and it's got to be intensely painful and difficult to accept. It's hard for me to accept, too. I miss my Daddy. He's still here, but he's not really the Daddy I've known and enjoyed and derived so many benefits from through so many years. I've managed to reassure myself that when this is all over, this whole "hearing device debacle" will barely register in my memory.