Dad’s Surgery

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I’ve been helping my dad this week. On Wednesday he had a non-cancerous tumor removed from his colon. Today is Saturday. Progress has been slow. The day before his surgery we walked about a mile and a half through the park near his apartment. Today he still has trouble just getting up and walking to the bathroom. Crystal has been great, as usual. She told me that she misses me every time I talk to her, but agrees that I need to be here. I think one of the things that first attracted me to her, after her long beautiful legs, was her strong sense of family. I now see that it runs in our whole family. Since I have been here each of my three daughters has shown their concern for my dad, and me as well. They readily offered to help. While I am willing, dad wants to spare them seeing him incapacitated. It’s fine with me either way. I know, better than my dad, that my girls were raised to be capable and helpful. However, I am perfectly able to help him through this time.

With so much time to reflect I can’t help but look back and reflect a little. Somehow when you look back you see things from a little different perspective. When I was young I was very involved in sports. Dad was almost always busy with his career or studying some document or report. I still remember each time, maybe half a dozen in all, that he threw a ball, or kicked a football with me. At the time I missed his involvement. I now know that is just who he is. He has always been a work first, highly organized, intellectual. Don’t get me wrong, there was never any doubt about his love for mom and me. He just didn’t always express it well.

I also found it strange that, as intellectual as dad was, that he picked such an emotional and flamboyant mate as mom. They were a bit like oil and vinegar. As with all good salad dressings it took a bit of mixing to keep them together. Mom was probably forty when she decided she had to learn to drive. I was highly in favor in theory, but not when the plan was revealed. Dad was going to teach her on his standard transmission car. Have you ever noticed that just because some people know things doesn’t mean they can teach. My dad was one of those. Of course there is no tougher person to teach than your spouse. My one positive about the whole experience is that it took place in an abandoned parking lot in the Forest Preserves. It didn’t take me long to abandon the car and start heading into the woods. I loved the woods and knew these like the back of my hand. My goal was to see how far I would have to go before I could no longer hear the gears grinding and my parents communicating. I walked for quite a while. Finally the screaming and grinding ended and I heard my mom call Ronald. I was out of breath before I got back to the car. Dad was back at the wheel and my parents were calm. They had made a decision. They would hire a driving instructor. Yeh!!!

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Mom & Dad With Our Daughter Michelle: Summer 2011

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