“Would it be ok with you if we took your Dad to a Twin’s game tomorrow afternoon?” I couldn’t believe what I just heard.
Dad had been a Twin’s fan from the first day in 1961 that the franchise moved to Minnesota from Washington D.C. Dad had never been to a Twin’s game during all those years, but always wanted to go. For a variety of personal reasons, my Mother did not support either of them going to a Twin’s game. So it had never happened.
Mom and Dad transferred from independent living to a shared room with skilled care in May that particular year. Within three weeks, Mother started breathing “New Air” while Dad’s condition steadily deteriorated. Seeing his health fail, I had given up on even the remote possibility of getting him to a Twin’s game. At the time, I lived in Illinois – a long ways away from my parent’s home in Minnesota. However, I made numerous trips to the state as my parent’s health began to fail, but getting Dad to a Twins’ game seemed impossible.
My mind snapped back to what Rachel – who worked in activities – had just said. She explained, “We have a group of independent living residents that we’re taking to the Twin’s game. We figured out a way for your Dad to go with us. Most of the time, we hope that there will be two of us who will be with him (particularly when he is walking) but we can’t guarantee that he won’t fall.”
“Yes!” I enthusiastically said without hesitation. It seemed likely that this September would give Dad his last opportunity to experience his dream of seeing the Twins live.
“Dad,” I said the next evening when I called him. “How was the Twin’s game?”
“I had a hot dog. I even had some ice cream.” He sounded like a kid in a candy shop. Then he casually added, “Oh by the way, I fell a couple of times but I’m perfectly fine.”
Dad transitioned to breathing “New Air” a little more than four months after the Twins’ game. During his memorial service and many times since his passing, my eyes filled with tears as this wonderful memory came to mind. We had discussed Dad’s love for the Twins with the staff in care plan meetings. Dad regularly watched the Twins’ games on TV. But I’m so grateful for Rachel – who took the time to actually connect the dots to bring to life an unfulfilled dream.
Oh by the way, Dad said the Twins lost. But he won – he got there!