The Father No Longer.

My 85-year-old father visited recently, and like many elderly, his cognitive abilities have waned: he retells his favorite stories (sometimes in the same day), he can’t recall where we parked the car, I have to speak slowly and loudly, and there’s no chance of him exploring the city on his own, he’d lose his way.

For many years I’ve only thought of him as the reactions I had to my not-so-easy childhood. My anger, sadness, and resentments like dogs on a racetrack chasing the rabbit they’ll never catch – over and over, multiplied throughout adulthood until all I could feel was the loud dull roar of what he didn’t do, who he wasn’t, and what I wanted him to be.

I was being “merely human” and so was he. What a blessing after so many years of the record (‘scratch, scratch, scratch’) repeating itself to be in ‘right relationship’ with him: phone calls, a visit with him to his girlfriend, postcards, and gifts that I randomly mail to him … it’s not luck, it’s love. Wow.

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