Dad is 93 years old today. I can’t believe I just wrote that.
I’ve never really known anyone who was 93 years old. I can’t fathom all those years. So much history, so many lives encountered. So much laughter, and heartache. Here he is in the Navy, a period of time he loved, with a buddy. Dad is on the right, with the big smile.
My dad has lived a full and energetic life. He has lived longer than his father did; he has outlived five of his siblings and one child. He has seen this country change in ways that make him disheartened.
He wants to be 25 again. He believes, somehow, some way, some doctor will make that possible. He is eternally optimistic about this. His doctors tell me that’s why he is still with us: he has hope.
I have never met anyone with such unflagging faith that heart disease can be turned around and Parkinson’s can be cured. It’s just a matter of time. And he’ll be here when those discoveries occur.
|Dad with my brother, who had a broken arm.|
I’m a bit ashamed to admit I’m not that optimistic. About anything. I pretty much think life is one ridiculous stumbling block after another, and at some point I’m going to wear out and be ready to be done with all this foolishness. So much of what we do here on the planet isn’t that important (how many movies can we watch on Netflix?), so I’m not that attached. I’m already tired.
Then, I spend time with Dad and feel a bit guilty I don’t wholeheartedly embrace every day, every hour as an adventure. I don’t know how he does it, gets up every day, looking for the next fun, exciting, miraculous thing. He fights the aging process, the fatigue, the disabilities. I have to think, as a child, he was probably a handful. I bet his mom was tired.
|Dad with our daughter, who is now a science teacher. They are very much alike. They have a weekly date.|
Today is an amazing day, because Dad will be embarking on his 94th year. There will be so many opportunities for more adventures. We are giving him a gift card to Home Depot, so he can buy some new plants (gardening is one of his loves) and tickets to choral concert (music is his other love.) We cancelled the big Hershey bar, because he was told by two separate doctors this week that he needs to give up sugar.
Dad told me recently he thought it would be great to make it to 100. I asked him why. He replied, “I’d sure get a lot of attention.” Then, he grinned. Dad loves people, he’s an extrovert to the core. Life is one big party that he does not want to end.
|Dad with one of his 8 great grand children|
I’m so grateful God gave my Dad to me. He has always been a wonderful father, a man of conviction and great humor. It is very sad to see him decline, and I know someday the party will end. I pray daily that it will be quick, and that he will be in heaven before he realizes the door is closing on this gig.
Here’s a picture of Dad on his 90th birthday. Can’t you just see the five-year old in there?