“Handling” my dad and my own expectations…

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I don’t know how to describe Parkinson’s progression in my father, mostly because I am not around him all the time and how he’s doing on any given day is a mystery to me unless we are talking about it or I see him, which is really only a couple of times per month. Though to be frank, the disease is a mystery to me and I know very little about it anyway.

Some months ago when just talking about this trip conceptually, we decided that my dad needs to fly with one of us next to him, and that Business Class was, at a minimum, where my dad needed to fly. Because my schedule will be a little irregular and I am going out a day early and then not coming back with them from London we determined it would be best if one of my two little brothers (we will call them L and Ai) fly next to him. 10 or 11 hours is a long time to potentially be on a plane in one seat with Parkinson’s, so we’re trying to make it as comfortable as possible for him. He’s also requested flights with layover so he can deplane, walk around, make sure he’s ok etc before we continue.

It all seems sensible. My frustration right now is that my dad wont pin either of them down to commit to coming on the trip and thusly flying next to him…and my flight out to Europe is already booked. He just hasnt pinned them down and had the conversation with them to confirm they’re going. Meanwhile, I am already booked.

You can see the gap starting to emerge here. I am a planner, for sure. I certainly give enough time and space to allow for everything spontaneous to happen but as far as the “I will be at this place at this time” in a more grand perspective (I will be in Paris on this date, London on this date, etc) I want to have these things worked out, locked down, and in motion. There is so much to do and logistically to figure out for the things my dad wants to do, and is often the case in this family, it will fall on me to take care of these things. How this will effect (or likely strain) the relationships between the five of us remains to be seen. I am trying to be conscientious of my approach to these things, and accepting of the fact that not everyone else does it the same way I do (especially about a trip now 6-7 months out) but it’s a real challenge to me.