Thursday, May 8, 2008

Stiff Upper Lip? Imperturbable? Ha!

I got my eight hours sleep last night, but night before last I may have gotten in an hour: around midnight. Other than that, insomnia city.

Looking at my task checkoff list, I see that I've got a lot of catching up to do for the first part of this week. And, more to the point, I haven't updated this blog.

There's a reasonable explanation, I think. Over the weekend, I went up to the Red River Valley of the North, to see my father, and get some family work done. It was also a 'birthday' trip for our son: delayed. This was the first time that schedules and bugs made room.

#2 daughter joined us in Moorhead, and went up to the farm in her car.

It was a good trip.

Our son and I had a great time, talking all the way up to the farm, and most of the way back. We had a good time with #2 daughter, too, although the talking with her happened at the farm.

While there, we talked with my dad a couple times. I'm glad we did. His lungs are failing, and each time we go I think that this may be the last chance I'll have to talk with him face-to-face.

He's doing okay, all things considered. His arms are thinner than I've ever seen, and a conversation with him has to end in less than half an hour: Interstitial lung disease is stiffening the parts of his lungs that exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen.

As he (inaccurately) said during our first talk this weekend, "there's not much left of me." Not true: he's still there, all of him. What's changed is that he now is having severe problems with part of his body.

As our son said, 'I like talking with grandpa: he has a library of knowledge in his head.' True enough. I got what I call my sticky mind from him: facts go in, and stick to the walls. And, while he was at the library reference desk, he'd be reading something from the shelves between questions. And he spent quite a few of his evenings reading from his own shelves.

Quite a guy.

And, now he's rather close to the end of his life.

I'll be back, maybe later today, or tomorrow, or whenever.

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