My dad came to visit on Thursday evening. I expected that he would leave on Saturday, but he surprised me and stayed until today. It was a nice visit. I didn't get a chance to talk to him alone, but I enjoyed the time we were able to spend together. After briefly talking with my dad's friend, I think I understand why his behavior has been a tad unpredictable.
He's been through so much since retiring. He went from being an over the road truck driver to staying at home caring for my mom. He lost my mom. He had to file bankruptcy. He had to leave his home of almost 23 years and move to a small efficiency apartment. He's had to go through seventy years worth of belongings and decide what he wanted and what he didn't.
It sounds bad to say I forgot how hard these changes have been on him, but I kind of did. I think it was self preservation. It was so difficult seeing him go through all of the changes because I know it was devastating to him. I have so wanted to 'fix' things for him so he didn't have to experience all of this because he deserves more than he has right now. I was driving myself crazy with worry. I needed to 'forget' just a little because I couldn't fix things for him and the financial help I have been able to offer has been/is so minimal. I wasn't enjoying my life and I felt so guilty when my dad was struggling and we were not. I needed space to realize I have helped him as much as I could with the resources I have and he knows this, so feeling bad that I cannot do more isn't helping either of us.
My dad's visit was a re-awakening of what I can do to help him. I am committed to offering what financial support I can, but I will also offer him more emotional support. He was always there for me in my times of need, so now it's my turn to step up. It's the right thing to do.