I open the door to step back into the room, and he is already asleep again. Sitting in the chair by his bed. The effort to get dressed and move to the chair was too much. He is spent. His lungs are filled with fluid, and he no longer has the physical strength to cough it up. They are giving him medicine designed to help, and he tries, but he just can't get it out anymore.
I've given my strange proclivities a lot of thought, and the only source of blame I can point to is my dad, Dr. Robert M. Miller, aka RMM, Bob, or "Doc." Most people assume that being the child of a veterinarian (a large and exotic vet, at that) isn't all that different from having a parent who's an MD, if they think about it at all.
As I drove along the highway, I noticed it was what my mom likes to call, 'A blue, white and green day.' That epitomizes Florida to her. Vibrant blue sky. White puffy clouds. Luscious green foliage. My dad had spent nearly 12 years here living out his retirement dream. Until the hell that is dementia entered our lives.
The holidays are a popular time for reuniting with siblings and parents. Like me, many sons and daughters no longer live in the same city as their parents, so this may be the first time in months when adult children are seeing their parents. Once together, it's common that health changes in mom or dad are more evident and the topic of aging, and its related issues, becomes a topic of family conversation.