I’m Much Too Busy for a Visit

I just got back from visiting Dad. Well, he’s not my dad, but I’ve known him for thirty years as Dad; he’s my father-in-law. He lives in Kansas in a huge two-story, five-bedroom house—alone—since last January when Mom lost her battle with leukemia. She didn’t really lose the battle, but rather she ended up, as usual, getting her way. One day she was told she had leukemia and she had a choice to make—hospice or experimental trials to lengthen her life. The very next morning, with Dad at her side, she said, “Okay Lord, I’m ready. Take me home.” And He did; right then and there. But that’s Mom’s story that I will have to write one day. She was quite a lady.

So now, Dad finds himself alone. I thought my daughter, Emily, and I would break up his monotony and brighten his world by using a couple of our Spring Break days from school to visit him. We enjoyed our ten-hour drive to Kansas, looking forward to a time of lifting Grandpa’s spirits.

We first made a trip to the cemetery, where Emily and I each put a red rose of remembrance in the vase on the stone. We stood at the grave site and remembered Grandma and some of the funnier moments. No tears shed outwardly anymore, just fond memories.

After that, Dad had things to do. He had to go to another town to pick up a motor for his weedeater. Then he had to get some groceries. He had a neighbor to see, because if he didn’t go check on him, then that neighbor would be over to check on Dad. The grass at the side of Dad’s sprawling backyard had to be cut. He had to replace the motor in the weed eater and cut those weeds at the back fence. He needed to take a walk around the pond to make sure everything was all right. (Don’t ask me why, but I trailed along with him and enjoyed the refreshing walk.) The week before our visit, he had already moved a large tree from the back of the yard to the middle of the yard. He did suspend his daily McDonald’s morning coffee clutch with his buddies while Emily and I were visiting. In fact, if he wouldn’t be letting down his friends, he wouldn’t go anymore. He was upset that McDonald’s had raised the coffee prices from sixty-eight cents to seventy-six cents.

So after two days of…um…of…breaking up Dad’s monotony? Emily flew out of Wichita to visit friends in Maryland, and I, all tired out, drove home by myself. It gave me time to reflect on life and on Dad in particular.

At eighty-two years young, I think Dad is doing all right. Since last January, he has driven to Phoenix to visit a son, to Atlanta to visit his sister, and to Ohio to visit friends he hasn’t seen in years. Dad is living life to the fullest. Oh, he stops once in a while to reflect on the loss of his bride of fifty-seven years, but he’s not letting any grass grow under his feet either. Way to go, Dad.

Categories Legacy Writing Prompts | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Posted on March 19, 2012

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1 Comment

  1. by H Liu

    On March 21, 2012

    What a great reminder of finishing well. Thanks!

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