life in and around NYC is insane

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

I shall spend part of the day with the father of my children, and part of the day with my father.

Spending time with my father is bittersweet.  I cannot help but remember the man he used to be, before age and illness overtook him.  The last three years have been especially rough on him.

The man I want to remember today is the man who wanted to be a writer but became an English teacher instead.  The man who instilled a loved of literature in me.  The man who loved Shakespeare and Broadway musicals and everything live theater had to offer.  Who would ask me to download the synopsis of an opera before he'd go to see it.  Who delighted in seeing the Rockettes dancing on TV.

The man who loved cooking shows and who, upon his retirement, bought a wok and signed up for a class on Chinese cooking. Who made clipping coupons and supermarket shopping a game.  Who played pinochle with his friends at the JCC. 

The man who yearned to travel, and who finally got his chance to travel through parts of Europe as well as Israel.

The man who joked about wanting a son while taking so much delight in his four daughters.  And who teased me about producing granddaughters instead of grandsons -- but thought of his granddaughters as the light of his life.

the man who, during some of the worst times of my life, was there to make me feel like everything will be all right.

My sisters have, of necessity, become practical nurses, and my father is well taken care of.  But his world has become so small.    This is not what he wanted for himself.

I'm remembering what happened 20 years ago.  My maternal grandmother Dora -- I've written a lot about her in this blog -- as in her 90's when she died.  She had been suffering from dementia for several years. I remember that her younger sister  Shirley came up from Maryland -- not sure whether that was for  the funeral or the unveiling a few months later.  Shirley and Dora were like two peas in a pod, and listening to Shirley talk made me realize that I'd really lost my grandmother long before her physical death. 

I'm starting to feel the same way about my father.  All the things he was are slipping away...

I will spend the time with my father.  We will dine, we will celebrate, we will hold onto this moment.

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