It’s not his birthday, anniversary or even the day of his passing. It is just a seemingly ordinary day.
But today I am missing my Dad. Big time.
Have you had an experience when a song, an image or a scene brings you back to a memory that is SO strong you can hardly believe it? A time when your reality collides with a distant event?
This morning was an errand day. Nothing unusual there. Coming around the curve near my home I happened to look left and saw an elderly man sitting on the sidewalk. Backing up I rolled down my window and asked if he needed some help. He said, yes, that he had fallen and could not get up. As I ran to help he uttered those famous words, “My wife told me not to do this but I didn’t listen!” I asked if I should call an ambulance and he said he just needed to get up and in the house.
By then his wife had come out and we managed to hoist him to a standing position. We slowly made our way through the laundry room door and he said he just wanted to change the sprinkler head as his wife sadly shook her head. How sorry I felt for both of them in that moment. Such a reminder of how my dad so hated it as his strength and abilities diminished and how it impacted my mom.
The wife told me her daughter was on the way over to take her to the bank and that her son-in-law would gladly fix the sprinkler head. She told me her husband had just turned 90. I get it. He’s a young man trapped in an older body. I’ve written about some of these things before. In this post I mention other pitfalls of aging.
Here was the final straw. As I turned to leave I saw a pegboard hanging on the laundry room wall. Myriad tools hung neatly from the hooks. There was even the requisite cardboard cigar box sitting on a shelf. Dollars to donuts that cigar box held drill bits or bolts of some sort. My dad used that same type of receptacle to corral loose tools. Why buy a fancy box when you have a spare cigar box lying around?
As I left that home I felt so sad that my folks are no longer here. How I would love to sit and chat with them about nothing of consequence. Maybe tattle on one of the hooligans.
But I also felt so grateful that we had them for as long as we did AND that they took care of one another and put up with each other. (There was a lot of bickering about this and that, but we’ll leave that for another day-maybe).
I have many pictures of my dad but I included this one because when I look at it I also see the sweet note he wrote to my mom on the back of it.
Irma updates on the horizon.
As always, thank you for reading!