• Paige Kornblue

Holding on to one special Father's Day lunch

Two years ago, Father's Day was a simple yet delightful one. And thank goodness, because the days to follow were not.


On Father’s Day 2018, my husband, kids and I took my parents to lunch.

We went to Luff’s Fish House in Boca Raton. Luff’s was once a bungalow… a cute little cottage built in the 1920’s in the heart of what once was a little South Florida town.

I believe the cottage housed the old watch shop in the ‘80’s. I remember standing at Mom’s hip and peering through the jewelry case glass while she explained to the jeweler what was broken on her watch or Dad’s. Perhaps the watch shop was next door to where Luff’s is now – but it all was right around there and it all holds a lot of town history.

But back to this 2018 Father’s Day when Kornblue family history was made.

I can’t say it was happy history….as this would be the last outing we would have with my parents together in their ‘normal’ state.

The last sit-down restaurant meal. The last photo snapped.

One day later, my dad would fall at home due to a dramatic blood pressure drop, hit his head and never quite be the same ol’ Ed Kornblue again. Doctors believe the fall catapulted the minimum dementia development he likely had, leading Alzheimer’s-like patterns to slowly develop.

Two days later, my father-in-law, who was in Louisiana at the time, would be knocked off his bicycle by an impaired driver, never to walk again.

Two months later, my dear mom and bestest friend would lose her battle with cancer and stubbornly yet gracefully gain her angel wings.

One week after that, my broadcasting mentor, my first boss and our dear friend, John Korbel, passed away in New Orleans also because of that darn thing called cancer.

Needless to say, the summer of 2018 was a tough one.

We responded. We cried. We mourned. We planned. We acted and we learned.

I learned how well a community can wrap its arms around a family.

I learned about memory loss, medical systems, supplies and senior care components of all kinds.

I learned that therapy is helpful, but for me, exercise is most helpful.

I learned how hard it is to be a caretaker and that it sure ain’t easy managing others to do so.

I learned that you must not settle for doctors, nurses and even front desk staff that are mediocre. Find the best.

I learned how to manage a lifetime of accounts, files, photos, memories, clothes and collections.

I learned that there may never be enough time to go through the thousands of Kornblue family photos.

I learned that (at least up until the covid-19 pandemic came along) we could have my father-in-law over to watch the kids play thanks to a reliable wheelchair transport company and even take him to the beach thanks to a wonderful city that supplies a handicap beach chair on wheels.

I learned that three blocks is even too far away for an aging parent with dementia to be and that the best place for my dad would be right next door to us.

I learned that holiday traditions may change to accommodate the ones that started some of them in the first place.

I learned that grandchildren may teach their grandparents as much as those same grandparents once taught them.

And I learned that our parents may not hold all of life’s moments in their memories forever, but they can still hold our hands.

Or…. thanks to coronavirus, blow us kisses.

And... in Captain Kornblue's case, send us salutes.

So for Father’s Day 2020, that is just what we will do, while Dad still can.


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