The Friday after Thanksgiving I was talking with my Mom about what I should bring up for our annual Saturday after Thanksgiving family gathering. Once that was sorted out I asked how my Dad was doing recovering from his broken hip. “Is he walking outside with his walker or a cane?” “Have you been walking down to Wal-mart on the really cold days?” We talked about whether we should get him a pair of walking sticks. “Would they give him better balance? Would he use them?” We had had this discussion once before. Every step of Dad’s recovery is influenced by his dementia which makes working though things a bit more complicated.
About two hours later I was surprised to see Mom calling me again on my cell. “You’ll never guess what came in the mail today for your father,” she said excitedly. “A pair of walking sticks from Dad’s friend Peggy!” Peggy H., a former neighbor had sent them to my Dad with a lovely note expressing concern for his recovery and hoping the walking sticks would help him get back to his daily walks and that she wanted to do this for him because he is always helping others. I was blown away by her kindness and her timing and had a huge smile on my face and tears on my cheeks.
The next day after the family meal, Dad started to put his boots and down coat on. He was ready to try out his walking sticks. My brother and I went along to be ready to help just in case. Dad took to those walking sticks like a duck to water walking along fast enough to startle me into being extra watchful for any ice in front of him.
The universe intervened once again when the woman who is renting from Peggy came outside just in time to see Dad on his maiden voyage and ask him about the walking sticks. He got a big smile on his face and showed her them gushing about how they were just like he had always had them and were easy to use. I would have never know just how much he was enjoying himself without her question and I was grateful that Peggy would hear right away how much her old friend appreciated her thoughtful gift.