Breakfast at Elio’s

My niece Natalie, who is the daughter of my sister Fay, is in town this week. She lives in Iowa. Since we don’t get many chances to see Natalie these days, my family gathered for breakfast with Natalie this morning at Elio’s in San Leandro.

My father resides in an assisted living center in San Leandro and I picked him up this morning so he could have breakfast with us. His 88th birthday is approaching and he doesn’t get many opportunities to break free from assisted living and get out into the world. To be frank, he’s pretty content with the routines of assisted living and he doesn’t like going out much. But he agreed to today’s breakfast outing so he could see Natalie.

We were a gang of 7 this morning for breakfast as I was joined by my father, my brother, my sister, my sister’s husband, my brother’s daughter, and my sister’s daughter.

It is actually easier for 6 of us to visit with my father at a restaurant than for 6 of us to invade his space at assisted living. There’s certainly not enough room in his apartment for 6 visitors. The public areas of the assisted living center can handle 6 visitors at the same time with ease, but my father doesn’t like to spend much time in the public areas. He prefers the isolation of his own room.

We all enjoyed breakfast Elio’s this morning, including my father. It can be difficult to tell when he’s really enjoying anything. For decades, his nickname has been “Mr. Fun”, sarcastically, because there aren’t many things or people that he enjoys. However, after breakfast, during the drive back to the assisted living center, he told me that he was glad that he came along today.