I’ve recently returned from a visit with my folks, prompted by my siblings need and my desire to share some of the burden of moving my folks into a home they are better able to manage due to their progressing age and physical limitations.
I keep in weekly touch with my folks by telephone, and knew both of them have experienced some pretty serious setbacks in the year since I’ve been in their presence. I’ve had reports from my siblings, and from my mother, about my dad’s (in particular) failing health, and pictures posted by family members on social sites reflected him looking older and more frail. However, upon finally setting my own eyes on him, I was shocked almost to the point of tears. What a dramatic decline in the last 12 months.
While our days were spent in physical toil, my folks, unused to a lot of activity around them, needed quiet time alone to recover from the stresses of the day. So, we retreated to my brother’s nearby home each evening, and enjoyed some sibling time. Being together in this way also prompted some candid discussions about my folks’ health and circumstances, and allowed us to weigh in on decisions involving us all – and probably coming much sooner than we would like.
When it came time to return to home and work, I realized the hugs and kisses I gave my parents – and my father, especially – might be the very last, should one of them suddenly take a turn for the worse.
Like pretty much every person I know, my family was dysfunctional. Even when my father could not avoid being physically present, he made little or no attempt to connect or engage with us. Even now, when any of us call, he spends no more than two minutes speaking with us (generally about the weather) before handing the phone over to Mom. Yet, he is very precious to me. I don’t resent him for his behaviors. I figure we all do the best we can in this life to make our way through it, and many of us possess limited capabilities in areas others wish we could excel.
In any case, and however it came to pass, my father sired seven darn decent children, who I know all work to make this world a better place. If he supplied only some of the genetic material, or if our paternal dynamic was the greater factor in shaping the people we have become, it turned out to be good stuff. Whatever we kids are able to contribute over the span of our lives is ultimately a tribute to my parents – to my dad. Isn’t it?
So, thank you, Dad. May your legacy flourish.
Annette Francine writes romantic suspense with a Christian twist. Find her books and links at http://www.annettefrancine.com or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.