My father-in-law is slipping away from us, mentally and physically. :( Once energetic and restless, the life of the party (he was still mowing his own lawn -- and it's a large one -- when he was 84, and insisted just four or five years ago, when he was 85, that he could go up on the roof and fix the chimney at stepSIL's house!!), he has been going downhill over the past couple of years, and has deteriorated in a shocking way since Younger Nephew's wedding last month -- particularly over the last two weeks. Dh notices a visible difference (and not a good one) every time he visits -- and he's been visiting more often since we learned the extent of FIL's health issues last week.
The nephews and their wives visited their grandfather last weekend, and reported that FIL did not remember Younger Nephew, nor the girls. :( But he's never not recognized dh, until today. He thought dh was his younger brother at first (i.e., dh's uncle). There IS a strong family resemblance -- and Uncle had been there to visit earlier in the day.
But still... :(
Dh told me today that FIL asked him, "Do you have any kids?" (!) :( His heart just sank, and he thought, "I'm not getting into THAT with him...!" so he just said, "No, Dad."
FIL looked puzzled and said, "You never got married?" (!)
"No, Dad, I'm married, we just don't have any kids."
A while later: "So how many kids do you have?" :(
I burst into tears when he told me this. :(
FIL was so, so happy when I was pregnant. I can remember him coming up the front walk of our house with this huge grin on his face & putting his hand on my stomach & asking, "So how's my baby??" And then when I lost her, coming up the walk again with this horribly sad expression on his face. I started crying when I saw him because I remembered the other time and how happy he was.
After Katie's funeral, when we paid our first return visit to the cemetery, FIL had already beaten us there. The plaque with the little bud vase attached was not yet mounted on Katie's niche, but there was a bouquet of flowers duct-taped (! -- typical FIL, lol) to the granite wall, with a little note that said (in Italian) "Your grandparents." I don't think he's ever been back there since then -- but I'll never forget that he was the first.
This sucks. :(