Dad was going through a difficult time. I didn't know what to do to help.
I turned onto the street where my father lives. The closer I got to the house, the more I dreaded seeing him.
Since Mom died and he lived alone, Dad was often angry, and lately he was getting more and more confused. Today promised to be worse than usual. He had a new aid named Liuda, from our home country of Lithuania. The presence of a stranger was bound to make Dad even more irritable.
Sure enough, Dad started complaining as soon as I got in the door. “This new girl doesn’t know anything,” he grumbled.
“It’ll take some time for her to learn how to help you,” I reassured him.
The three of us sat awkwardly in the living room. I wished I could think of something to say. Lord, please help us feel more comfortable with this arrangement.
Liuda sprang to her feet. Walking over to Dad’s record player, she dropped a Lithuanian folk record onto the turntable. The familiar accordion music played. Dad started singing. Liuda smiled.
The music seemed to drive all the tension from the room. We chatted about Lithuania. It was one of the nicest visits Dad and I had ever had.
When I left he hugged me good-bye and asked me to look at old photos with him and Liuda next time. For a moment I glimpsed the old Dad. The man I’d always loved spending time with.
I’d come to Dad’s expecting the worst. But with Liuda’s help and a little music from the old country, I’d found what I would always love.