First, thank you all again for your kindnesses last week. I am actually feeling a bit better although the stress level continues to be pretty high. But I am workin' on it.
Last week, I went to NY for my Dad's 80th birthday bash (no pics yet), and saw various cousin type people and a relative who is ill (and for whom this song was chosen - so now you know what kind of a treatment that person is going to get). Specifics about the ill family member will not be forthcoming, as that person is entitled to their medical privacy, of course.
Though I gotta say, it's interesting. I rarely see my cousins, seeing as they all live in NY and NJ and we are in the wilds of oh so far North Bahstin. In all fairness, one of them has small children. I recognize that visits are not easy or cheap, and I am totally understanding that as I haven't worked in a dog's age, and I know some others haven't, either.
But we all hugged so much tighter this time. And the vibe I got was -- we may all be thinking this, consciously or unconsciously, that this might be one of the last times we can all do this together. So it's a tad bittersweet.
My father is the last male of his generation on that side, and one of the last on the other side, as well. Even his younger brother (5 years younger, I might add) is gone. Dad is IT. And he seems to take that in stride, kinda being everyone's Dad now. He doesn't just have a son and a daughter, and a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law and one grandson. Oh, no.
He's got three other daughters. And one other son. And another daughter-in-law. And another son-in-law. And another grandson. And two granddaughters. And they may call him Uncle or Great-Uncle but they come to him, and he jokes with them, as he fixes their light fixtures or fiddles with their computers or explains about refrigeration (inside family joke: if you ever have insomnia, call my father and have him explain refrigeration. It's better than Ambien. Trust me.). And he offers advice. Or sometimes he's just there, and he makes an example.
He is up at 6:30 AM like a shot, every single morning. He still walks faster than I do. He can fix things. He has over forty patents (most of which are hanging on the walls of my house). He wears bowties. He is a jokester. The belt on his pants gets higher every year and is now under his armpits. I imagine it will become a headband one of these days. He forwards every Internet warning there is. He teaches senior citizens how to use computers (and, probably, also how to send that kinda junk). He loves my mother unconditionally. He is everyone's Dad and Grandpa. He has a work ethic that is off the charts, even as he jokes that he never worked a day in his life. Well, it's not work if you love it.
He and Willie Mays turned 80 on the same day, May 6th, 2011. And to that I say, Say Hey, Dad.