My brother Hyatt and his family dropped by for a visit to Vernon on their drive back up to Monterrey yesterday. Vernon was not up to seeing anyone at first…not even me. I worried that by the time we got him outside with everyone, he might start yelling or swearing at the kids, just because. Hyatt and I must have convinced him not to swear (he said he’d try) because though he did grumpily shout out rudely to them a few times, he didn’t actually swear at them (that I noticed.) I felt bad because this is the same family that enjoyed Christmas with him a year and a half ago, and he was so pleasant and engaging then. But the kids seemed to take it in stride.
Here is a cute photo of all of them huddling together in the shade.
But what seemed to calm him down was being asked to sign his last form (I think) for his naturalization application. He used his right hand as his left is still so cumbersome. His signature looked pretty good, actually, though I know he couldn’t see the line to sign on very clearly. He also liked being asked for some logo/typography advice from Hyatt. He loves being asked for his expertise.
He said a few times: “I like Hyatt a lot.” The truth is, it’s very rare that he has visitors who aren’t female. I know Hyatt being there and talking to him like he had something to offer was really nice for him. Maybe he felt he had a buddy again. Sometimes, Vernon asks to be sat in the smoking section outside, not because he’s a smoker, but because that is where the more active (and smoking) patients sit…most of them men, and those who are younger than the rest of the people who live there.
Here is a picture of my lovely sister in law, Nicole. It was so fun hanging out with her and the brood last week.
Though still a little high strung by the end of our visit, Vernon had calmed down enough to enjoy some snuggles from his daughter. Looks like she enjoyed them too.
Here she is trying to show him some video of the play she was in the night before…The Lion King. Theatre doesn’t translate well on an iPhone, but I know he wanted to make sense of it.
The hardest thing about yesterday for me was when he said: “Don’t keep going away. When you go, you are gone for such a long time.” I don’t know if he meant my going away for a few munites to ask the nurses a question or to tend to something right there…or if he meant when I go home after a visit. I have a feeling they are all starting to mix up a little but that he has an increased understanding that I do go away for long periods of time. Maybe it’s best that I don’t know what he’s thinking sometimes.