I visited my dad last night in the hospital. We are hoping he is just days away from entering the rehabilitation center so he can start therapies to get him home. While he isn't the same physically, his mental state is to be admired.
When I arrived last night, he was in a wheelchair. I was told that he sat up for lunch as well and ate dinner in the chair too. It was so great seeing him sitting upright. His speech was sounding better and his voice sounded like him again. It was a good visit. I laughed more with him than I had all day. Sure, I cried all the way home but that is par for the course these days.
He was wanting to get back into bed to rest but because he is 6'3" and nearly 250 pounds, not just anyone can help make that transition. The nurse was on the hunt for 2 men to assist her. We waited and waited. We were facing the door of his room and we saw a man walk by. He wasn't an employee of the hospital. He was probably visiting a person in the wing. But as soon as he walked by, my dad said "there's a man. He can help." I said the same thing, at the same time and laughed. I told my dad how we are cut from the same cloth and he said "yes we are."
It is painful seeing my dad unable to be independent (for the time being). It is painful seeing the loss of spark in his eyes, to hear his speech slurred and to see him struggle with simple tasks. But when he speaks and cracks jokes or, like last night, give us a lesson on proper grammar, I see my dad. My dad is in there. We believe in his ability to beat this, to fight through the barriers this stroke has created and to be back to us soon. Hopefully, really soon.