Growing up, my father was a constant companion, but a man of few words. We lived close to one another and for many years we would go for walks together where I would talk and he would listen. It was a cathartic process for me... someone to listen to my problems and in a way it really seemed to help. Dad never judged me or offered solutions... but was always a sympathetic ear. How I looked up to him... he was a real gentleman and a son couldn't have adored a father more.
Time waits for no man and Dad is now 85 and has for the past few years been afflicted with dementia. It just breaks my heart to visit him at the old folks home. His face lights up each time he sees me, but there is no longer a depth of understanding in his eyes. My mother passed away a couple of years ago from Alzheimers and now poor Dad has it too. It's a real challenge for loved ones to have to endure, as your parents slowly descend into a very dark place.