A couple of years before Dad passed away I came for a visit. It was a few months after he had suffered a stroke. Our nephew Brad (or was it Christopher?) had driven Dad to pick me up at SeaTac airport.
Dad lumbered out of the passenger side of the Jeep and I started to walk toward him. But I stopped as I noticed he was walking with great effort dragging a foot, a somewhat useless arm dangling at his side.
It was then that I realized the extent of Dad’s recovery process, but more importantly I recognized how despite his handicap he was showing great love in welcoming me, his little girl. He had once carried me on his shoulders, and had taught me many things over the then 50 some-odd years of my life.
It was for me to wait as he showed he could still be my hero. And when we embraced I felt his strength was still there though somewhat waning.
Though he was oft times a grouchy lion of a man, I could see how he set aside his pride and used every effort to meet ‘My Pat’ at the airport. ❤️
And in the years that followed his mortal body suffered profound deafness and other challenges. But thankfully I could still be there to be taught at his knee.
I learned of his love and devotion to his “Blanchey-Babe.” I learned you can teach an old dog new tricks when he agreed he would stop the grouchiness and accept the home caregivers and nurses so we could bring Blanche home from the nursing home . (Long story there.)
I recall assisting her to sit on the glider with him on the porch in the background. I hope they know what a profound sense of belonging and a wonderful bunch of memories they gave us over the years.
IMAGE: Our beloved step-mother Blanche Myrtle (Jackson) Bennett Player when she could still walk without aid, and our father Glen S. Player, MD on the lakeside lawn of their Medina, WA home we affectionately call “Overlake”. Circa 2006.