|Dad and Gary Loveland before the service began|
I love meeting with these great people who have nice memories to share! In a very real sense we lost my Dad last year and now you never know if his memories from long ago are really from long ago, or if they are from last night's dream. Although I will admit through fact checks, he gets things pretty close to right on most of the time. It was just great to take my Dad to Boise where he was born and raised and meet some of these great people!
Another was Pieper. Her mother was married to my Dad's uncle, although I am still hazy on whether Pieper was already born when her mother married Uncle Tim or whether Uncle Tim is her father. (Anyone know?) My confusion is due to my Dad's explaining her connection for 1-2 hours on the way home, each time he restarted it was a little different. Notwithstanding, Pieper is a beautiful, wonderful person and lovely to meet. Pieper was married a little while back and three months after she suffered a massive stroke and also has a TBI. She talks and acts about like my Dad. She made that whole trip worth it for my Dad, I think. (He said after we left my Uncle Steve's house the night before, that that visit was worth the whole trip, and then again after talking to Pieper. I was so glad he had some nice visits!) I've got to say Pieper made my whole trip worth it too, which was already worth it. She was such a nice, sweet, lovely person! One thing I so enjoyed was watching them as they sat and talked to each other. It was a little bit funny because for my Dad's part, I don't think he was really following anything he or she were saying, but he was so happy!
One of the hard parts that trip was meeting all these people who my Dad knew in Boise who were absolute jerkstores. I remember their names and wish I had it in me to rat them out on my blog, but I don't, darn it. I know he talks slow and is hard to follow and I just wanted to say "you know what? My Dad knows that too! Can't you just humor him for a minute? Help him feel like the real person he is? Not make him feel worse than he does?" because he understands still if people are rude to him. It broke my heart to watch as this guy from his childhood sat and looked through the program (which he helped create) while my Dad was working at reminiscing. I was also wondering what made the program important enough to look at while I was watching this whole thing happen. Oh well, I know it is HARD to have the patience to talk to people with brain injuries. So if you are, have been, plan to, or ever will be someone who takes a minute to talk to my Dad or anyone with a brain injury, I sincerely THANK YOU! For that act alone, you are a hero to me!