November 6th : Chicken Wing Day
Food of the Day for Year Goal
I do not know Mr. Teresa (when Cole was little, he always called his friends parents Mr. or Mrs. followed by the name of his playmate), but through Teresa’s Facebook shares I have developed a real fondness for her dad, who loves chicken wings and Cokes. When Teresa shared the following touching snippet of conversation with her dad with me…all I could think of to say as my eyes filled with tears was, “What a darling man,” and ask if I could share their touching conversation on Odd. Teresa agreed to share.
Muse by: Teresa Cieslak Newell
My dad is an 87-year-old retired schoolteacher. In his heyday he read books constantly, scoured the newspapers (not one but three) daily, kept up with his favorite sports teams, and listened to news radio.
My dad is delightful.
Last February, we almost lost him. He was put on a ventilator and we were told he wouldn’t make it through the night. He proved us all wrong, though, and he rallied back…but not without some residual problems – one involving his short-term memory.
My sisters and I check in on our parents every night. We rotate. Here’s a little snippet of my conversation last night.
“Hello Dad! How are you doing today?”
“Terese! How’s my Terese?? So happy to see you! What did you bring me?”
“You haven’t eaten dinner, Dad?” (He refuses to eat anything other than take-out. No matter how hard we try, it’s either wings or fried shrimp.) He goes on to tell me he would like chicken wings. I think he could eat hot chicken wings every day.
Fine. I go to KFC for chicken wings and bring them back to my dad. We visit while he eats.
“So, what did you do today, Honey?”
“Dad, I worked.”
“How was work?”
“It was fine, nothing too exciting.”
“Where do you work?”
“ The Fertility Center.”
“You’re a nurse, right?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
“What do you do at work?”
“I draw blood, do ultrasounds, teach patients about their medications, count sperm.”
“You count sperm?”
“Yes. What did you have for breakfast today?”
“I don’t know.”
“What’s happening in the news?”
“I don’t know.”
“Dad, you have CNN on right in front of you.”
“I don’t pay attention.”
“Don’t you read the paper every day?”
“Only the obituaries and a few sports articles.”
“Anybody you know die?”
“All the time. Mostly acquaintances.”
“Teresa, I don’t remember anything anymore.”
“Yes you do! How old are you?”
“You’re 68??? What year were you born, Dad?”
“So that makes you 68? Do the math.”
“Four from 11 is seven…I’m 87!”
“See, Dad? Look how sharp you are!”
He smiles as he takes another bite from a wing.
“Dad, you remember a lot. It’s your short-term memory that’s not so great.”
“I’ve got such great kids! I love you, Teresa.”
“I love you too, Dad. You’ve got great kids because you and Mom were great parents.”
“You’re so good to me. What do I owe you for dinner?”
“Dad, you don’t owe me anything. I don’t mind buying you dinner.”
“Thank you so much! You are my sweetheart. I love you, Teresa!”
“I love you too, Dad.”
“So, what did you do today?”
“I went to work.”
“Where do you work?”
And the seasons they go ‘round and ‘round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return, we can only look behind
From where we came
And go round and ‘round and ‘round
In the circle game…
Muse with us….Odd Loves Company
March 25, 2012: Rest In Peace Mr.Teresa…may heaven offer you lots of cold coke and swizzlers. ♥
16 thoughts on “Muse: Chicken Wings, Short Term Memory Loss, Life Time Of Love”
Beautiful, just beautiful! Thanks for sharing your story with us, Teresa. I’m growing quite fond of your dad too, he is the sweetest! xx
Oh what a wonderful Sunday morning muse. I take care of my mom and while it can be trying at times…these kind of moment help you keep your patience and make the time we spend together so special. Ordinary, extraordinary moments.
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“Mr Teresa” is a darling man! He does have such great kids! I could almost feel his smile. Such a tender story of love of and loss.
Thanks for making my Sunday morning
Perhaps I am just an emotional wreck lately I don’t know but reading this just made me break down in tears. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story may God bless Mr. Teresa!
Priceless. I’d probably be having the same kind of conversation with my Dad if he had lived that long. Mr. Teresa is a sweet man…glad he got to have chicken wings with his daughter.
Oma will be 90 in January and over the last six years the circular conversations abound. Every time she steps into the townhouse (almost a year now) the conversation is the same,”So, why did you move? I really liked the other house better.” Most recently for Zachary’s birthday I made a picture of collage of him over the last 25 years. Oma repeatedly asked, “Who’s that in the picture?” I am blessed with children who smile, laugh, and just say, “Oh, Oma. We love you.”
“Ordinary EXTRAordinary” indeed! Circular conversations is such a great word for it. Dad never use to be so lovey dovey. Our parents rarely said “I love you” until they hit their golden years and only after we said it first. Now, I sense he knows his time is limited and love pours from him daily. He is so appreciative for anything anyone does for him from the nurses and doctors in the hospital to his caretaker and daughters. Thanks to all for your sweet words. He’s an amazing man and I’ll happily answer his questions over and over until the cows come home. I’m just grateful to still have him with us. 🙂
Perfect song, Katybeth! You make me smile!!
Your relationship with your dad is a testimony to how he lived his life. He is blessed to have such loving, caring children and you are blessed to have such an endearing father. And the circle continues with your little Bug…♥
Ah TCN, what beautiful insight into your wonderful Dad and your extraordinary relationship. How I miss my Dad. I’m touched by your musing and honored to get a glimpse of the man you call Dad. Thanks.
So much love in that story! Tears and smiles at the same time.
I love this. Teresa, my dear and precious friend, you have a wonderful, beautiful gift: how deeply you love — and how you express it. Love you. ♥
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