Since arriving in Dunedin I have spent some quality time with my dad.
Our first outing was down to one of our old haunts, the Normanby Tavern to play pool and have a beer. We played about 5 games and the honours were pretty even. There were a few tense moments as the competitive nature of the games and the players took its toll. Over the years I have enjoyed spending time with dad sharing common interests. Next to the pool table were one of dad's latest pursuits, the pokies. I put in $10 into one machine and as quickly as I lost it dad collected it out of his machine. We left with me feeling deflated and dad quite pleased with the world. I drove dad back to the Little Sisters before returning to my sister's place in Waldronville.
While down here I have been fortunate to have dad's Nissan Note to drive around. Waldronville is about 10km from the Little Sisters and it has been extremely convenient to be able to flit back and forth. The car was purchased a few weeks ago under a cloud of conjecture. Dad handed in his license 2 years ago when really sick. He has not yet managed to get it back yet and it may not happen. Dad was determined to have a car and in the meantime its with my sister and available for the family to use when down in Dunedin.
Yesterday was fairly full on. I was planning to meet up with dad for lunch at the Little Sisters at 12:00. I got a call about 10:00 that mass was on at 11:00 if I wanted to join him. With a bit of a rush I managed to get there on time. I'm glad I made the effort. It was a bit emotional for me as it brought back my early year's growing up in a religious environment and heightened the reality of recent years having been away from church and the Catholic faith. I was glad I could once again share with dad what has been of vital importance in his life.
After church we had a lovely lunch with the residents put on by the Little Sisters. On completion of lunch I had a chat about the last weeks of my mum's life as sadly I had not been around when she died. At the time I was in Huntly at a half marathon race and got the call at 4 a.m that mum had died. Not great preparation! I ran that race for mum and did really well. Click here for my result. Dad explained to me that mum and him had reconciliation in their last weeks together after many years of problems.
I have found the last 2 days with dad a special time. I have 2 days to go to once again show my domination on the pool table and spend some more time at the Little Sisters. Golf will not probably happen this visit as the previous outing was a bit too big a challenge for dad to walk around the course. We had at that time played 6 holes of golf resuming old rivalries at Chisholm Park.
It is extremely reassuring that dad is being looked after by the wonderful Little Sisters that caters for his religious beliefs. I am highly impressed by the caring nature of the staff and the opportunities available to the residents to have quality, meaning and respect in their later years.