Today was a really great day for my Dad and I.
We made a road trip up above Greenville to let Dad and yeah, me as well…relive, re-visit, remember and retell things from days gone by. We visited a place that has been the locale of many stories that we have and also where my mother’s ashes were scattered nine years ago this week. I may have gotten some crap in my eyes from the wind blowing so hard off the lake.
Once we got to Greenville it started to rain pretty steady, but once we got up to the lake and got out of the van, it stopped raining and the sun tried to come out for minute. Yeah, it was just coincidence. 🙂
However, it is hard to believe that it has been that long since Mom died, but it has. It seems like it was just yesterday that I was talking with her, getting her advice or perspective on something that I was thinking about doing. I still miss her more than I will ever admit.
Another reason that we went up there today is that Dad’s health is not great and he doesn’t really have a lot of hope for any improvement going forward. He is doing better than we ever thought he would with all of the health issues he has, but as he said today “Everyday I wake-up, its another great day.”
He is a tough old Bastid, but he pretty much admitted that he thought this would probably be the last time he gets to go up there alive. I tried to dissuade that line of talk, but he is a realist and knows himself better than anyone else. Plus what I am seeing each time I go up to visit…well we will see.
While riding up we talked, Yankees (he’s a big fan) / Red Sox (I’m a big fan), Patriots, some politics, and remembered things. But mostly, I simply listened and I think that is what he wanted more than anything – he wanted to talk. He kept talking and I learned a lot about things that I thought I knew about, but like they say I got the rest of the story – at least from his perspective. 🙂
Up at the lake, we talked some more, had some quiet time together. Then I needed to take a walk to collect my thoughts and he needed time to himself with his wife, his emotions and their memories.
After leaving the lake, we talked some more, stopped for lunch in Greenville and drove home. The conversation was more of his memories of how he grew up and the people in his life. The two hour trip back to his house seemed to take about half the time it took to get up North.
Neither one of us are overly demonstrative kind of guys when it comes to showing emotion, but we hugged, told each other how much we loved one another and I think I might have gotten something in my eyes walking back to the van.
At that point after driving around for almost five hours and being on emotional overload for most of it, I needed a run.
So I headed over to Newport parked at the Hannaford and ran around the outskirts of town.
It wasn’t a fast run and that isn’t what I needed, I just wanted to get out move around someplace that I was very familiar with. I grew up on those streets and as I passed places that mean something to me, they took on a different look after talking so much with Dad earlier. Especially when running by my Grandparents old house and the house I consider my home over on Elm Street.
After that I still had to drive home. I put over 270 miles on the body today and by the time I did get home I was spent emotionally and physically. However, I believe that it was one of those days that I will remember for the rest of my life and I think that my father enjoyed the day as well.
Whatever time any of us have left on this little blue marble, I believe we need to remember what is important and that life is not always easy or even fair, but it is what we make it, based on the choices we make each day.
Today, I made a pretty good choice. 🙂