Home Again

December 20th, 2014

I’m looking out the back of my dad’s house. Looking down the hill, the ongoing damage of the bark-beetle is evident with the dying trees. Glendale looms with its tall buildings and beyond, Los Angeles. My step-mom passed earlier this year. It feels very strange here without her.

Dad talks to me from his arm chair. He misses her. He asks if I live alone. “Yes,” I tell him. He then wonders how do I like being alone. I tell him that I don’t like it. He agrees hating it himself.

His mind isn’t what it was. His body is deserting him. Yet he wakes up every morning, is taken out of body and brought into the den. Given that he is 6’4″ this is no easy thing. But as he likes to say, “I’m still here.”

At least he still remembers me, but for how much longer? The sun room, nee the former radio room for his ham radio set up, is really warm today. Given how cool it is outside, it’s almost funny. This room is haunted with the memories of them in here doing what they did: Lynne, working at her computer, paying the bills and so forth, and dad, talking to people from around the world on his ham radio. As his family of ham friends began to die off, his interest waned. This was his passion for nearly all his life. Now it’s sports and Fox news. Sleep, when ever he can, and the much welcome phone calls of friends and family. He’s 95. And he’s still funny.

What I wouldn’t give to turn back time, with what I know now of course, and do things differently. Would that change the pang of my heart as I watch him slowly but surely slip away from me?

I’m eating too much. I’m frightened. He tells me to call him if I get lonely, but if I did, that’d be a thousand times a day. My dad, the first king of my heart, a man who always filled the door frame of every room in the house. It was an old house. Still, I see him there. And now, as I see him here, lonely though he his, he seems by and large content. That’s really all I could ever want for him.

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