Family events help keep Dad/Boppa in touch with his “feelings, will, sensibilities, moral being” (Kuhn 138). Even though he may not remember exactly who people are, I can see it in his face when he makes a connection emotionally. The photos above show that connection. The left photo is of Dad at great grandson Isaiah’s first birthday party, that memory can still be accessed and you can see it in his big smile. The second photo is of Dad with his niece Louanne’s son. Craig lives in Nevada and Dad has not seen him in ten years, so the memory is older and you can see it in his face. He has connected emotionally, but not completely. Dad just knew he was with family and that is all that counts.
As Kuhn quotes Patti Davis, daughter of former President Reagan, in her book Angels Don’t Die “. . .I looked at my father. His eyes met mine, and what I saw there told me it only mattered that we were there together. . .” ( 147).
And filmmaker Deborah Hoffman makes a similar realization in her documentary Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter when she states, “For the longest time I insisted upon truth and reality being important. So she [mother] would say it’s April when it was really May. And I would say, ‘Oh no, it’s May.’ And finally it dawned on me. ‘What does it matter?’ . . .what does it matter if she thinks it’s April?” (147).
What does it matter if the person does not remember the month, the name, the place, the person? What matters is the moment, the togetherness, the emotion that can be seen in the face, felt in the touch, and heard in the laughter.