Dad’s coming home today.
I’m not sure what happens from here. He’s frail but fiercely independent. He says he’d die in a month if he had to go into a home. It’s not a threat, just a statement.
I was there today when the doctor told him he needs to eat more carrots. He’s eighty-freaking-two years old. Let him eat pine cones if it’s gotten him this far. But I’m dutifully going to finish off his ice cream tonight in an effort to help. I am a Good Son.
He’s a tough buzzard, so I wouldn’t bet against him.
Killing time tonight while looking through family albums, I found the photo from the Capitol 10,000 we ran together in Austin. I think it was 1980, give or take a Willie Nelson album.
I don’t remember a lot about the race other than it was a tough day and it took forever to reassemble with 40,000 finishers. We didn’t run together. Why not? I came across his finisher’s certificate tonight. He’s kept it all these years. 48 and small change. That would have been plenty fast to have kept me amused, and that would have been the one race we ran together. But racing is racing. Every dog for himself.
Tonight, I walked with him on his hallway laps in the hospital. I think we’re technically in separate divisions since he’s using a walker for now, but it was fun. We talked and joked and loved being together. He’s a pretty great guy. I’m glad he’s my father, and my friend. He turned out to be pretty damn good at both.
Sorry I dropped you on the last lap in the hallway, Dad. But racing is racing. Maybe you need to go titanium walker or something.
Anyhow, thanks for all the good thoughts, and I’ll tell him you said hey.
If you’re lucky enough that your dad is still around, maybe give him a call today. Or go by for a visit. Or plan a race together. You’ll never look back on your life and think, “Damn. I wish I had spent less time with him …”