We’ve spent several days with John’s dad. We’ve shared a variety of activities including visiting the public library (something we haven’t done in YEARS!), walking around the mall, going to the movies, visiting the Marconi Auto Museum in Irvine, and sitting at home talking. We’ve also shared several restaurant meals together. We’ve had some wonderful times together and it’s been great to reconnect on many levels. Unfortunately, there have also been many times of memory lapses and confusion. Sometimes Dad’s very cognizant and lucid. Other times, he doesn’t know who we are. When he does have a memory lapse, he has some fascinating and clever ways to cover for it. It’s amazing that as our minds shut down, God still gives us the capacity to think and process.
It’s been sad when Dad doesn’t know us, but we still enjoy sharing time with him. We are relishing the good times and hope this is the way we will remember him. Through it all, he hasn’t forgotten that we’re missionaries in Mali. He continues to be very supportive and encouraging in what we do. He is the only family member that has visited us in Mali. He spent two weeks with us in 2005. The trip left an amazing impact on him and he has continued to reflect back on it each time we see him.