I'm off to Rome tomorrow to visit with Dad and help him with any bills that have come in since my last visit. Right now, I'm on an every ten day or so schedule; usually I go up there on a Monday, then visit again on a Thursday or Friday ten or eleven days later, then skip a week and go up the Monday after that, another ten or eleven days later. That's frequent enough to stay on top of the bills and to make sure that Dad has spending money, that he has food in the grocery store, etc. I'd like to have a chance to see him more frequently, but with traffic between here and Rome getting worse with each passing year, what used to be a 45 minute drive now takes 75 minutes minimum, sometimes longer.
I've become more acutely aware of Dad's dissatisfaction and loneliness. In the past few months, he's done something he rarely does: he actually has vocalized both feelings. Dad isn't one for talking about his feelings; he came from a generation in which men weren't supposed to do that. But he has said on several occasions how much he wishes he just had someone to go to dinner with, someone to talk to every day. (I call him at least twice a day, but I know that's not the same as having some to talk to in person.)
The catch-22 of this situation, though, is that Dad is so set in his ways that he rarely goes to new places or sees new people. As a result, the chances of him meeting someone he can share meals with or just chat with is more and more remote.
I've talked to him about visiting us, but Dad isn't willing to drive out of town, so he's pretty much Rome-locked. And I've even suggested that he move here with us, but he gets very irritated by the suggestion, stressing that his current house is the only place he'll ever live.
It's a frustrating, no-win situation; I know Dad doesn't care for the way things are, but I don't think he'll ever do anything to make thigns change. And I have no power to alter that in any way, as much as I'd like to.