Dad is Sick

Dad was born December 2, 1923, the second of eight children. Four of his siblings have died. Last summer at a gathering at my cousin Paula’s place, the survivors were calling themselves “the final four.” The name has stuck. Gallows humor and what some might think a rude insensitivity runs deep in my family. We show our love by insulting each other.

Dad’s never sick. He’s one of these guys who retired without ever having used a sick day. So when he rainchecks a weekend barbeque because he’s feeling ill, we have cause to worry. My sister and I pestered him mercilessly on the telephone yesterday. And last night his friend Sandy said she was taking him to “urgent care” and she’d let us know if we needed to be concerned. Haven’t heard from her since and it’s too early to call….

I’m glad dad has lived to read Brokaw’s book and to see the WWII memorial unveiled. He was never any kind of American Legion or VFW guy. Like a lot of combat veterans he kept his memories pretty much to himself and didn’t have much use for flag waving and parades. On the other hand, ever since my brother was posted to Vietnam in the late sixties, dad has flown a flag at home.

We rainchecked the barbeque yesterday because dad said he just didn’t feel up to standing over a charcoal grill. And now, while I was writing this, my sister called and said they kept him in the hospital last night and they may be keeping him there for a few more days. The diagnosis seems to be an inflamed pancreas, but I’ll know more when I’ve talked with dad and the docs.

I think it’ll be my job later this morning to show up at the hospital and chide him for malingering. It’s my job right now to just find my own center and hold dad in the love that’s in my heart.

Posted in The Proprietor
8 comments on “Dad is Sick
  1. Elayne Riggs says:

    My thoughts are with you, Frank. Your dad and I share a birthday.

  2. meg says:

    Thinking of you today.

  3. K! says:

    “All you need is love”

    and compassion too.

    Hi. Waving Hello!

  4. fp says:

    Thank you friends, for your concern and support. Looks now like the acute pancreatitis diagnosis is what they’re going with and when white cell counts come down they’ll remove dad’s gall bladder to prevent further mishap in that area. Meanwhile he has a morphine on demand hook-up that is supposed to keep him pain free. But, his sense of how things should be won’t let him just push the button and float. He seems to need a little discomfort to justify the hospital bed. It’s how he’s wired.

  5. Doug Alder says:

    My thoughts too are with you and your father Frank – I lost mine this past December at age 92. He sounds like a tough old guy – no doubt he’ll pull through this just fine.

  6. Leslie W says:

    Please let us know how he’s doing. I’m sending good thoughts in his direction.

  7. Shelley says:

    Frank, please tell your dad to “…stop screwing around, there’s bar-b-que to eat” for me, too.

    Hang in.

  8. judith says:

    my dad was one of eight also… wishing you and your family well my friend…

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