More Visits with Dad
Having shared so much with you about my Dad and my anxiety about coming to see him, I’m compelled to let you know how things are going. It’s also therapeutic to write it all down, while it’s fresh in my mind. Thank you so much for all your love and support. You’ll never know the difference it’s made.
Toodles and I arrived at Dad’s house promptly at ten this morning. He was already up in his chair and was in a good mood. He was proud to tell me he’d eaten both peaches and wanted more. I brought the basket in and set it at his feet. “If you can eat them all, they’re yours.” He laughed and after saying they were the best-looking peaches he’d ever seen seven different ways, said to leave him two or three. I left four where he could reach them and eight more in the kitchen.
He asked me what I’d been up to and I told him about my scenic drive around Lexington. For Lexington readers, this morning I drove out Harrodsburg Road (my hotel is near New Circle), turned right onto Man o’ War Boulevard, and then right onto Versailles Road through town. I got on New Circle at Richmond Road, then drove around the long way to exit at Tates Creek.
Damn. There were places that looked so different I couldn’t even remember how they were before. The lovely bluegrass is seared and brown. I’m hoping the steady rain since my arrival yesterday afternoon will green things up before I have to head back to Athens.
Dad and I had a nice chat about nothing in particular. He again wanted to make sure I knew how proud he is of me. We talked about how different we are–me the social butterfly, him the loner. He said something interesting. “You’re friends have always been what keeps you going.”
Pretty astute for the old man, and one hundred percent true. After about thirty minutes he was starting to nod off. I told him I was leaving, and that I loved him. I’m pretty sure it’s the first time I’ve ever said those words to him. And I meant every word.
After a therapeutic lunch with my dear friend, Ella Marie (with a shout out to Terri who was unable to join us for our colonoscopalooza lunch), my partner texted me to let me know that Dad had called our home number, and that they’d had a nice chat. I figured he must need something and headed over to the house.
He told me he wanted to have a serious talk with me about something unpleasant. I tensed, expecting a tirade about something I’d done. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “Several of those peaches you left for me this morning are a little on the hard side.”
I immediately remedied the situation. Then he told me that the mayor of Lexington had been out to visit him to present him with a special award. I thought he was making it up. Then he gave me a little blue medallion and showed me the plaque for the Henry Clay Award on the coffee table. He was tickled pink, about the award and that the mayor had come to see him.
Yesterday I’d asked him if he’d seen the sunflowers blooming in his backyard. He had not. Today he could see just the tiniest little bit of yellow from his chair. So I went out and cut them, put them in a vase, and set them on the coffee table next to his new plaque. He was thrilled. He ordered me back outside to cut any remaining flowers in his yard. I came back with a vase of zinnias. I’m stopping tomorrow to pick up more. If anyone in Lexington has zinnias…I’d love to hear from you.
It was a good day. I’m not going to wonder where this sweet man has been all my life. He’s here, now, and for that, I’m grateful today here in…
My Glass House