Hospice 2: The Ice (Cream) Man Cometh

Because of the pandemic, only immediate family are allowed inside the facility, and then only one at a time. (For now: that might change as we get closer to the end.) My spouse and daughter have to stand outside by the window, in the sun, in what is essentially a parking lot.

Before I went in, I gave my keys over in case they wanted to retreat to the car and cool off/charge phones/sit down.

So we had a visit. It was going pretty well, although I was noticing more signs of weakness and a tendency for my father to drift in conversation. But when we asked if he needed anything, or wanted anything, he perked up and said, “Ice cream!”

I replied that I would bring some on my next visit. Outside, however, my daughter decided to act. She had just heard the passage of what appeared to be the neighborhood ice cream truck, so she jumped in the car and headed down the street in pursuit. She caught up with the guy, but he was empty. (It was a pretty hot day, and this was late afternoon.) A couple of locals directed her to a nearby grocery store, and she acquired a bag of those small ice cream sundaes you used to get in the cafeteria, or summer camp. Plastic cups with a paper lid, something even a weak 91-year-old could open.

He ate two of them. For a few minutes, he was 12 years old again, mowing lawns with his friend and discovering chocolate ice cream, the best thing in the world.

Sample – ice cream cup

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