Dad is sitting in his favorite recliner, answering questions for a reporter from the Sacramento Bee (Anita Creamer). He is talking about Mom and her love of music, and how that love of music affected those she loved. Now he's talking about her love of God. All of the questions about himself have been answered with a few terse sentences, but one question about Mom has called forth a seamless, fluid description of her defining characteristics. I love how much he loves her.
The reporter just left and now we're sitting in the family room listening to Bach, Orff, and Handel. Dad is closing his eyes and waving his hand to the beat of "The Harmonious Blacksmith". During my childhood, he would often invite me into his office, close the door, turn up the stereo, and simply sit back into his chair. I knew this meant that he had just had a special moment with some piece of music, and he wanted to share it with me. I remember when he first introduced me to Respighi's "Pines of Rome". The ground shaking with the fanfare, and Dad watching me, waiting to see if I understood the beauty of it.
Another memory: on Sundays after dinner, Dad and the kids would clean up while Mom went straight to the piano to practice. I developed the habit of laying down under the piano (it was a baby grand) and dozing off while she played. Whenever she asked if I had any requests, I always wanted "Arabesque #1" by Debussy. Somehow an association was forged between my mom and that song, so that every time I hear it I can feel the texture of the rug on my back, the piano is vibrating above me, and Mom is lost in her fingers at the keyboard.
Dad is doing well. He has been diligent at his breathing exercises, and he pushes himself to his limits each day. The daily progress is visible to us, his children, even though we are constantly with him.