Monday, June 18, 2007

My Father's Day gift.

My father is old.

I discovered he was old about ten years ago, when we drove away from the house after a visit and I burst into unexpected tears. My father was an electrician, and had always had strong hands and arms, and now, he had a constant cough and his arms were thin, and his hands were soft.

He's actually turning 75 in September, so he's not really THAT old.

But he has become deaf, and refused a hearing aid, preferring to have a disjointed conversation and keep the television at a jet-engine level. Unfortunately, he also has discovered the Fox Channel, and has grown opinionated in addition to being rather loud. And it is not unknown for him to burst forth in song in the middle of a conversation, since he can't hear the other conversant, therefore it doesn't exist.

For Father's Day this year, my siblings and I sent them a base station and four cordless phones, since the last time my brother called, my mother had to go through three different phones before she could find one that she could talk with.

I called him on his new phone to wish him a happy Father's Day. He thanked me, and we chatted on. He talked about a little neighbor girl who came to visit, who wanted to try on his oxygen hose to see what his air smelled like. He said that she was a lot like me, that when she walked in, she never asked for a hug. He said he had to convince her that it was a good thing to have.

He said that I never demanded a hug. He said that his lap was always full with another kid, and I never asked because I had been told no too many times already. He said I never got enough hugs. He said that he was sorry for that.

I still have a hard time asking for things. For help, for consideration, for a favor. And that's especially hard since I can't do everything now. I'm getting better but it is still very hard.

All this time I thought it was my fault. Thanks, Dad.