Saturday, April 19, 2008

Friday: All in All, a Good Day

My wife and #3 daughter set off to visit #2 daughter and the Red River Valley grandpa, my father. They've arrived safely in Moorhead, where #2 daughter lives.

That leaves me and our son here, on our own. My wife left detailed instructions for how to make French fries. That was for me. She also left a set of instructions for our son, covering the care and feeding of dad.

I have to hand it to my wife: She's showing great courage, leaving us two guys in charge of the house. So far, almost 12 hours after the ladies left, the entire house and its contents are intact. The only gaffe was a relatively minor one. It was forty minutes after the usual meal time, when I realized that there was a reason for my feeling so hungry.

Happily, the meal was a microwave-and-eat matter, involving food stored by my wife before she left.

My wife's anniversary present came, dropped off this afternoon by someone in town. Thankfully, I'll be able to surprise her on her return: probably Sunday.

Our son and I read Garfield, of course, at the usual time.

He asked me to leave him a note, telling him when to wake me up.

On a more serious note, my father's status is worrying me.

It's silly, of course: He's in his mid-eighties, and some early lung diseases, plus about a decade of smoking, caught up with him; and now his lungs are failing. We all die, sooner or later, and he appears to be going through that process.

I said "worry," not "concern." There's a difference. "Concern" is having rational misgivings, or realizing that something needs to be done. "Worry" is the emotional uneasiness that can come, even when there is nothing to be concerned about.

Being Catholic, and having been Christian for as long as I can remember, I have a fairly clear idea of what death involves, why it is inevitable, and how to view it. My father was born in a nominally Catholic family, 'wasn't anything in particular,' as he put it, when he married my mother: and had been active in the Methodist church after that. I know his beliefs, and how he lives them. I have little concern about his relationship with God.

Still, it's a worry. All my life, I've been able to kick problems upstairs to Dad. Even when I didn't talk to him about something, knowing that he's around helped.

I suspect that, sooner than I like, I'll have insights into how my wife felt, when her mother died.

There. That's enough brooding for now.


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