Friday, September 30, 2011


Had a conversation with my dad over the phone.
The usual stuff... how's the weather... how's work... oh, hey, I've gotta get my gall bladder removed.. you know, nothing special.

And he tells me that he's had a date.
"You had a date?"
"With a woman?"
"Of course."

What I said to him was, "Good."

The first thing I thought, of course, was how long Mom had been gone.  And quickly concluded that more than a year was more than enough.
"That's good, Dad."

It wasn't until later that it occurred to me why I was so very okay with it.
Dad's still living.

He's not just alive.  He's out doing stuff.  Stuff he enjoys.
He meets "the guys" for coffee every morning.  He still drives cars for the local dealership.
He's not sitting around passing time, checking his watch wondering, "Geez, I've done everything I wanna do.  How long am I sticking around here?"

In a nutshell, Dad is not this lonely man.
It did not occur to me until this very moment how how afraid of that I'd always been.

My dad has a lot of living to do yet.
And I'm very okay with that.

Happy Birthday, Dad!
You're the most awesome 81-year-old I've ever known I'll ever know.


Dani said...

Good for him :)

Thumper said...

Happy birthday to your dad!!!

Yeah, that whole living thing is a big reason why I admire my MIL so much. she could have shut down when my FIL died, but she picked herself up and jumped right back into living. Right now she's on a Panama Canal cruise, and I expect she'll get out there and parasail while she's at it.

My mom, OTOH...just sits there all day and does nothing.

I wanna be a spunky old person like your dad and my MIL...

Mrs. Who said...

Good for your dad, and Happy Birthday to him.

(And good for you too, loving him enough to encourage him to 'live' his life and not grieve it away.)

vw bug said...

Yaa for Dad and happy birthday to him! Yaa for you for taking it well.

Moogie P said...

I always wished my Daddy could have found someone else aft Mama died. He was only 48 when she passed, so good for your Dad! And happy birthday to him, too!!

Andy said...

Good post, Roses. I have not lost a parent yet. But, my MIL is like Thumper's. K.D. has been dead 7 years now, and she really didn't slow down but for a little while.

She grieves on and off, but in a good way. It was funny (if you can call it that) that the old men begin to circle like buzzards when she became widowed (btw, she is the hottest 76 year old in these here parts). Pam and I always chuckled about it...and she knew she was being pursued (and still is).

She assured us "I'm not taking up with a man. One thing I DO NOT NEED at this stage in my life is another old man to take care of."

I know it's late...but I sure hope your Dad had a grand day. And, many more!

Roses said...

Come to think of it, Dad's mother (my awesome Grandma of Christmas cookie and heroic traffic accident fame) lived fabulously as a widow. She was gone on a bus trip seems like every other month. When my parents went on a week-long vacation and I spent the week at Grandma's house, I didn't get any sleep because she hosted such loud card parties.
He had a good role model, I guess. ;-)

Bou said...

OK, this is kind of funny. I clicked on the lonely old man link and as I read it I thought, 'I remember when VW and I used to go to breakfast and there was that little man who'd lost his wife of 40 years and how 40 years wasn't enough..." and then I read your comments and that's the story I commented on! That is how much that man and his loneliness bothered me. To this day, I remember where he sat, what he looked like, and the conversation.

When my mother in law died, my father in law's life stopped. Probably because she was his slave, but we won't go there. Anyway, one day we took him to her gravesite and there was an old man with a fold up chair, a newspaper, and a thermos. My father in law said, 'He comes every morning and stays until the evening..." Pop was in awe, as if this guy had won the golden chalice of grieving. I, on the other hand, was horrified and said, "Pop! This is not something to strive for!"

Nobody can replace your Mom, but your Dad deserves good company, because you're right. He's still living. I'm happy for him, but happier for you... that you get it.

Roses said...

Bou: Two things...
1) Not only do *I* get it, Army Sister gets it, too. I think the two of us was ready to explain it to the other when we first talked about it, but we were both already there. ;-)

2) Um... how would your father-in-law know the cemetary tailgater was there from morning till night unless he was also there... watching him? Hm... ;-)

Bou said...

Roses- I know, right? I think he may have been pulling some all-dayers at the cemetery. But what I did get from him was that no matter what time of day he went (and Pop went EVERY day for a LONG time), that man was there.

It's been 11 years and I'm happy to say the man isn't there all the time anymore... and he's not dead. I've been over a few times for various reasons and he's never there. There are always fresh flowers, but no signs that he's living there anymore. It was so sad...