62. My Father, What a Character
That night my 88 year–old father, who had been staying with us for the week, couldn’t lift the gallon of milk. I remembered how in his sixties he had chased his grandchildren and tossed them into the air.
His legs were the first to go. He walked with a cane, but not far. Diabetes had taken his energy. His left eye was failing, his circulation too.
Hardship hand not changed his character. He still struggled, but stood for the National Anthem. Once, sitting in a restaurant lobby, an elderly woman in a wheelchair came in after us. He looked at her chair, then his cane. He asked the hostess to move her party ahead of us. “We’re in no hurry,” he said to me, “and she has it a little rougher.”
My kids played eight games of basketball that week. He was tired, but he attended them all, and a banquet. He loved watching his grandchildren play, but more importantly, he loved his grandchildren. He wanted them to know it. I was glad my children would see real men stay involved in their children’s lives, and their grandchildren’s, and their great-grandchildren’s.
I thought that someday aging might test my character. I took stock of the traits that made up my character, which ones I needed to strengthen, which ones I needed to overcome.
Today I will take stock of my character.
Sober Not Somber © 2015 by Ken Montrose
(Just a reminder: Sober Not Somber is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to anyone you might know is purely coincidental.)