After my father died at 66, I found only one letter from him summarizing his life’s journey. My senses still happily recall the sights and sounds of my days with him. But, sadly, I have no other record of his thoughts and feelings throughout all his years on earth.
Within a brief span of time, adult children can find themselves responsible for Mom and Dad. Watching a parent grow vulnerable and dependent is an uncomfortable transition.
“Happy birthday dear Robert, happy birthday to me.” Dad’s voice boomed through the Mexican restaurant, singing louder than the rest of the family at his 80th celebration. His candles flickered on the chocolate cake we had brought from home. Dad beamed with delight as he blew out every candle.
A crippling stroke ended his life as he knew it — he was 55. In spite of hard work, determination and a good attitude, the results of therapy were disappointing. Instead of being able to converse with passers by as he worked in his garden, it was now a major event just to get outside.