We usually measure loss by what’s considered the big things; death, divorce, getting fired.
There’s a loss that’s more subtle, sneaking up and stealing the relationships you hold dear. When my dad began experiencing chronic pain, he changed into someone I didn’t recognize.
Dad had a different sense of humor. In addition to making up nick-names for everyone, he changed the name of just about every restaurant in town. The weirdest name exchange ever was for the old Ground Cow. It was a Highway 80 icon in the sixties. We’d often stop there on our way to and from the Bay Area and Reno. Dad called it the Lacerated Bovine. Really? Yup. That was Dad.
When we moved back to Reno in 1973, Dad raved about something called the Awful Awful. Harvey’s or Harrah’s or one of the casinos served this dish in their restaurant. Knowing Dad, I knew it must be code for something else. When the day approached for us to go out to eat, I was more than irritated hearing about this famous Awful Awful.
Dad laughed. “It isn’t a waffle, Chickie. It’s a hamburger.”
Good grief. Who knew?
My dad’s personality gradually declined from the funny, generous, everybody loves Roger, to a cranky old man. Pain robbed him of the ability to see beyond himself.
I lost my dad months before he died. Have you suffered the same losses in your relationships?