Losing your parents is such a sad time in one's life. We lost our mom 6 years ago to cancer. My 85 year old Dad is another story. We have been slowly losing him for 5 years, but he's still with us. He has dementia. He has lived alone since Mom died and we kept and eye on him and kept his secret for all of this time until he had a heart attack in December. After that his life changed, all of our lives changed as he had to go live in a memory care center.
My brother and I have spent that last few months getting him settled in his new place and have had the task of cleaning out his house so that it can go on the market.
Here's my Dad's house. It has a great view. SEE DAD'S HOUSE HERE
As we cleaned things out, we sorted through the papers and the photos, the toolboxes and office drawers. As we cleaned out the kitchen we were flooded with wonderful childhood memories at the discovery of a certain bowl or a plate and especially the old Tupperware cookie box.
As we cleaned out drawers, I found our first dog's metal dog tag which is now my keychain. Neither of us kept much, just a few special items that only had value to us in the form of memories...something our Dad doesn't have much of now.
As I cleaned out my dad's bedroom, I found his old watch in a drawer. I instantly remembered him wearing it when I was a young child. I remembered him holding my hand and looking up at my Daddy to see that watch on his right arm. (He is left-handed). That watch was always on his arm.
The watch was a mess. It was dead as can be. The crystal was so yellowed that it was hard to read the dial. It was also cracked and scratched. The watch is a Hamilton, C. 1963. It's on an old Speidel expansion bracelet that's way too big for me. I didn't care. It reminded me of my Daddy, the man that is gone now, lost somewhere inside of his own mind. It's only us that can remember who he is. I slipped it onto my arm and decided that I was going to wear it as a bracelet.
We worked hard that day, as we have many days on his property. I had pushed the watch up into my sleeve to a place on my arm that was large enough for the bracelet to stay secure and not bang around. Kind of forgot about it for the rest of the day. I got home that night, made a cup of tea and sat down to rest my dirty and tired body. I took off my jacket and there was the watch. And guess what? The second hand was moving! The watch was running! It was ALIVE! It's an automatic and it had woken up from a 30 year sleep on my arm as I worked all day long. I wore it for a few days and found that it ran great, just a few minutes off.
I decided to take it to a watch man and have it restored and serviced. I had to have the crystal replaced and the crown because it had rust inside. I left everything else original. The watch man wanted to replace the band with a new leather one, but I refused. I'm wearing it just the way my dad wore it when I was a little girl. Like any informed American I went on line to Youtube and learned how to take links out of a vintage Speidel and now it fits me. I wear it with my stack of bracelets and I love the big dial. It keeps perfect time now. It is also on my arm to keep me in check. When I get frustrated at my Dad's dementia-inspired behavior...which is often, I look at the watch on my arm and remember who he was...who he is...
He's the guy in the middle. He was voted the "King of Hearts" for Valentine's Day in his new home. It's kinda cool because he met my Mom on Valentine's Day back in the 1950s. She would get a kick out of this...