I have been away for a bit too long, it even makes me a bit sad to open this blog again. I miss my first, and in so many ways miss my teaching life. For years, I prayed, please God keep my parents healthy until after I retire.
He did and then wham.
Mom declined quickly and died. My dad has always been so independent, and though I know he would miss her, I thought he was invincible. At ninety-one he is every bit my intelligent and thoughtful dad, but he too needs me, at least twice and sometimes three times a week. I need to grocery shop, or to bring him to the VA to get his hearing aid straightened out about every other week. But mainly he needs me to talk to. He needs my companionship and love. I am his driver, he is my Miss, uh Mr. Daisy. His favorite line is “to make a long story short.”
The irony, his stories are never short.
“Nancy, did I tell you about the blood pressure incident?”
“Well, I was kind of with you, when it happened.”
“No, I didn’t tell you. Let me tell you now. Karla, the nurse, explained to me why my pressure was high that day at the VA. I called her when I got home.” The nurse at the VA also told him when we were there.
“Karla explained to me that it was a bad thing not to drink my water, orange juice, and decaf coffee at breakfast. She explained I would be dehydrated and then my blood would get so thick that it would be hard to go through my veins and then my heart would have to work so hard, and that is why my blood pressure went up.”
“I guess that is the moral of the story, Dad, make sure you drink enough, so that doesn’t happen.”
“Did I tell you about that 91-year old who was still driving when he was my age, Nancy?”
“Yep, you did when you told me it was time to say good bye to driving Dad.”
“I think maybe that guy had high blood pressure and maybe he was dehydrated. It is so sad, maybe he didn’t know like I didn’t know that blood gets thick and all kinds of bad things can happen.”
“Well, Dad, I think you made a smart decision to give up your driver’s license because now I get to hear so many good stories when we drive around together.”
“Do you remember when you made me stop smoking Nancy when you were in 2nd grade? I’ll make a long story short, okay? You came home from school one day and told me that your teacher said I was gonna die because the Surgeon General said smoking was bad for your health? ”
“No, I don’t remember me doing that, in 2nd grade.” I have heard this story one million times. “But I know you are going to tell me.”
“I will. I’ll make a long story short.”
I smiled. Precious moments. Precious days. I want them to last forever.
Great Grandpa? I’ll make a “long story short.”