Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Father's Day, Totti!
Born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia
January 15, 1928

He seemed to favor his left arm from a very young age... ;))
Out of uniform while in British Army,
Stationed in Hamburg, Germany, 1949
21 years old
A Typical Father's Day
(In the quiet of Dementia)

"Did you get a good night's sleep, Tot?"
As he wipes the drowsiness from his shaven head to his chin, he sits up.
"Relax a few minutes."
I turn on his television.
(In the quiet)

"Let's go to the bathroom.
Did you do poopies?"
I change his diaper, then clean him --
Fresh clothes nearby.
(In the quiet)

"Ready for breakfast?"
He says nothing, but wolves the meal down.
Sated, he sits and watches me as I wash the dishes.
(In the quiet)

"We'll take a walk down the hall, okay?"
I guide the walker to him,
He grips it as we stroll down the hallway and back several times.
"One more time?"

"Very good. Why don't we relax for a while."
I help him into bed where he rests to watch New Jersey's news,
then falls asleep.
(In the quiet)

At noon, I take his sugar level.
"Hmmm, still a little high.  Let's go into the living room.  What do you want to watch?"
"Zapata" -- his favorite name for every film he watches.
I slip The Apartment into the DVD player.
He smiles at Jack Lemmon.  I smile at him.
(In the quiet)

"The movie's over,Tot.  How about some music?"
He nods, but says nothing as I put on music by Greek composer, Mano Xatzidakhs.
He hits the tambourine and sways.
When over, "Some Pavarotti?"
He nods, and like the chance appearance of an endangered bird,
he might sing along to Bixio's Mama
but always beams to Pavarotti's ear-to-ear smile.

After hours of movies, music, and lunch, dinner, and snacktime, I guide him to bed.
He lies down to New Jersey's news.
(In the quiet)

At bedtime, his final change and "It's time for your medicine."
Then, "Now take out your teeth."
I guide him to bed, tuck him in,
"I love you, Tot.  Sweet dreams."
"Sweet dreams," he replies quietly.
I shut off the lights, and close the door, slightly ajar.


Every day you remind me how precious each moment is,
and try to live in the quiet.
Happy Father's Day, Totti!


Linda's recording of Totti playing harmonica

Linda's recording of Totti singing a few bars of Bixio's Mama

Song for My Father, Horace Silver

Oh, My PaPa, Eddie Fisher -- one of my father's all-time favorites


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post Petra.

The photos,
the poem,
the music.

Esp. the videos of your father. :)

K. :)

Ron said...

Petra, this post is so touchingly beautiful! It went straight to my heart center and brought tears to my eyes (good tears), because I could feel so much love emanating from every word and between every sentence.

"Tot, every day you remind me how precious each moment is and try to live in the quiet."

Yes, what a profound truth. Live each precious moment IN the moment, and savor the quiet.

Love the photos and videos you shared. They're beautiful!

Thank you for sharing this post, my friend!


petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Hi, K.! Thank you.

He was so drop dead handsome when he was younger. My brother Joey looked just like him at the same age.

And to think that he can sing along to Oh, Pa Pa. Aren't the videos great? Am so happy my sister, Linda, recorded him.

I so enjoyed creating this post today. Came out so fluidly!

Have a Happy Father's Day, K.! :))

petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Thank you so, Ron. I was feeling emotional and proud while creating the post, and am so happy that you sensed that.

And you now have an idea of how much he inspires me to live in and savor each moment.

Wasn't my father very handsome at 21? And he was so physically fit and slim. He taught the family how to swim.

I have memories of us getting sick and his bringing home color by number sets to help us feel better.

He was a wonderful father. He had his moments as a result of the war at only 16 yrs old, but he truly did everything he could, always. :))