The Night by Christine Swiderski

The night was crisp and clear as I rustled the leaves during my evening walk. Twilight settling in caused me to reminisce about the days I walked with my dad. Dad would increasingly get restless at night after dinner. Mom was always glad to be rid of me while she cleaned up the dinner scraps. My dad would hold my hand whistling a little tune as we walked. Tonight I started to whistle one of those tunes, ‘When you wish upon a star’. Dad was great when it came to watching movies with me even when I wanted to see the movie 1,000 times he knew all the lines and we would act it out together.

I find myself wishing upon a star tonight wanting that man back that held my hand. Seeing him as he was not as he is, old , bent, and slow in mind due to Alzheimer's. If he could be as stealth walking as he was when I was little we could take this walk after dinner whistling, ‘When you wish upon a star’. Instead, I spend afternoons allowing him to act out what he remembers, many times the same thing 1,000 times over. I owe that to the best dad a girl could ever have.

He used to kid me because he could tell me the same joke 1,000 times and I would always laugh at it. As a little girl, I laughed because I knew dad was playing with me. Now I tell the joke knowing he will laugh as though he heard it for the first time. I tell the same jokes 1,000 times just to make him laugh 1,000 times. Some friends have asked how could I possibly do this every day? I say: “Because he is 1,000 times a day better than most dads.”