It was one of the hardest times of my life. It was also one of the best because you do your best to treasure every moment.
I remember the time my dad and I were in the elevator at the hospital just for routine appointments. Some man stepped onto the elevator and my dad asked him how he was doing just to be polite - something rare for my dad. The man told him he thought he was having a bad day until he saw my dad. Now he knew just how good his day was. My dad just laughed and so did I. I told him "see Daddy, you never knew you could make someones day just by the mere sight of you."
One time we were at a hotel. I had taken him there because it was summer and our air conditioning had broken down at the house. I was wheeling him through the hallway and a woman with 3 small children passed by. They, of course, were staring as small children do when they see a sick person. As they went by I heard the smallest of them exclaim "whoa" in a small voice in an incredulous tone. The sight of daddy was amazing with all the tubes and bandages it took just to function in a normal day. Even a 3 year old could see it.
One time we were at Shoney's Restaurant. Daddy loved Shoney's. We were sitting there enjoying a quiet dinner when a man going by in an electric wheelchair ran into daddy's wheelchair and the 2 chairs became entangled. The man in the electric wheelchair kept backing up and moving forward trying to get the chairs loose. The jarring effect was rocking daddy's world. I had to jump up and make the other man stop shaking the chairs and lift them apart myself. When it was all over all daddy said was that he wished he had one of those chairs. (He got one later and it did change his life) It was really funny. (apparently my writing skill can't relay how funny it was to see those two wheelchairs locked together - oh well)
The best story is the time my dad was out riding in the electric chair. I had warned him several times to stay off the hill in the yard because he would tip over. One day he came back in and started berating me wanting to know where I had been. (I was working on the other side of the house). Apparently he had tried to go up the hill and turned over and he couldn't get back in the chair because his pants kept falling down. He only had one leg. He said every time he would stand up after turning the chair right side up his pants would fall down and when he would bend over to pick up his pants(He didn't wear underwear because he had a catheter.) The chair would fall over again. This happened several times before he was able to get everything together and get back on the chair. I thought it was funny when he was telling me but he was so mad that I was able to hold back my laughter. When he was telling my uncle about it my uncle was laughing so hard he could hardly stand up. So of course then I lost it and started laughing too and daddy finally saw the humor in the situation and laughed too. He never went up that hill again.
Funny how the little things are what we remember later.