My dad, 66 this year, has really begun to feel the sting of his own mortality. His friends have begun to pass away at an alarming rate. This week his best friend died of colon cancer, a few months back another had a stroke and just recently another went into the hospital with some mysterious illness and is hanging by a thread.
When we got word of his freind's passing there was this look on his face of utter disbelief and perhaps loss. Then the tears in his eyes. I have only seen my father cry once in my life. I couldn't handle it then and I cannot andle it now. I excused myself and went to my room and had my own moment of mourning.
Later, on Martain Luther King Day, he and I were watcing one of the many documentaries trotted out especially for the day when he sits back and looks hard at me says: "What an exciting life. I was born at the tail end of a war, witnessed a few other wars. I've seen assassinations, the rise and fall of governments, the creation and dismantling of gangs, civil rights ... " the man goes on and on...
I could only stare at him and say "Yeah".
The other day mom and I were sitting in her bedroom watching tv, dad was someplace else in the house. Suddenly there was this sound like a body hitting the floor my mother's head snapped up and my heart dropped. My father's been plagued with a heart condition for a little more than a decade, including a pace maker, so you know where our minds went, especially given the events of the past week. We both leapt up and stalked through the house calling out "Dad?" "Tommy?"
Dad was sitting in his office minding his own beeswax.
What was the sound? Balloons getting caught in the ceiling fan. The remnants of a party a few days ago.
That's not the point.
The point is my father reviewing his life has me taking stock of my own.
Amazing things have happened in my lifetime as well. I have done things that a lot of people I know haven't. It's been an interesting life, but I am far from finished.