Today I went to work. It may be two days before Christmas and relatively quiet but a military base never completely closes.

Today I saw new “Welcome Home” banners posted on the fence line outside the base. A unit must be returning soon. I pray they make it back in time for Christmas, it’ll be close. I remember those days and smile, happy for the returning Marines and their families.

Today I took my Dad to yet another doctor appointment. This was follow-up from the latest round of tests. I was actually hoping for something straightforward like a urinary tract infection. At least that is treatable and would explain the symptoms he’s experiencing, the exhaustion and physical decline. Instead the tests were all negative; a good thing of sorts but I’m left with the painful thought that I’m losing my Dad and once again there is nothing I can do. The morning appointment wiped Dad out and when I checked on him in the afternoon he was sleeping again.

Today I noticed Mom is getting comfortable apart from Dad. Given the direction Dad is heading this could be construed as a good thing. It is significant though given their 66 years together. I also notice Mom is having a harder time recognizing Dad. Also significant given their lengthy marriage.

Today would have been my wedding anniversary. I bought a rose and an anniversary card. The card said in part, “For my wife, wishing we could be together on our anniversary… I hope you know how very much I love you.” I laid the rose on my wife’s grave. The card I’m keeping.

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve. I’m ready for today to be over.

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