I haven’t taken the children up on their usual weekend visit for awhile—partly because I’ve spent the last couple of Saturdays at dialysis instead. Also, I knew that the fact Vernon hadn’t been improving was getting hard for Maki to see week after week, so I let him take a little time off. I know its good for Vernon to have the kids around, and for the kids to be near their dad, but a little space seemed necessary. I don’t know…perhaps I was projecting my own feelings of battle-fatigue…but it felt like I was protecting them from disappointment.
It had been a couple of days since I’d visited myself, and I didn’t know what to expect. I never do. But it was high time to bring the kids, no matter what.
He was sitting in the hallway by the nurse’s station. On seeing us, he waved hello, smiled, and took Justine’s little arm and covered it with kisses. We were off to a good start!
He loved seeing Justine, but the one he really wanted to be with today was Maki. It was as if he started to recognize how much Maki had grown and how long it had been since they last spent time together. (Even an inkling of this would be a mental shift forward.) I don’t think he remembered the last time Maki played for him, but when we mentioned he’d brought his guitar with him, Vernon kept asking him to play.
At this point, Vernon began to focus completely on the music. He looked relaxed and happy. He even bobbed his head a little to the strumming. As they shared their connection, Justine would get jealous and try to interrupt. Vernon would snap at her and feelings were hurt. I realized Vernon just needed that time to be with his son so I took her out of the room to find someone to visit or a butterfly to chase.
When we returned, the guys were looking up music online. Vernon was trying to find some non-existent singer’s name (the name was made up, but it may just be the wrong name for a singer he does remember—words get in the way sometimes.)
We were gone for awhile, so I don’t know all that went on between them. But I think it was good that they had the space. Especially for Maki. I know its not easy for him to be the entertainer. He doesn’t like to be put on the spot. But this is his Dad. They will have to find a new relationship as Vernon recovers. Maybe its better for them if no one else is in the way as they figure it out.
When Maki was ready to go, he left the room and waited for us in the car. This is when Justine was finally able to get her dad’s attention. Forgiveness was given as well as kisses.
We didn’t leave till everyone’s heart was a little more mended.