He was an excellent runner, golfer, bowler, ball player and all around athlete. He was strong and at times invincible. He was tough and I never saw him back down. Many times he was right and many times he was wrong. He could be very compassionate but he could also be very distant. He was smart but he also could be ignorant. He made some great decisions in his life and some that weren't so great. He had good habits and bad habits. In many ways he stills has many of these traits, personalities, talents and ideas. But he doesn't run or golf anymore. He's alive but he's living out his life in a senior care center or nursing home. He has dementia. He thinks it's been 5 weeks since he's been there but it's really been 7 months. He can't walk on his own or maybe he could go home.
I visited my Dad this past Saturday and it's getting harder to do so. I drive the 60 miles from my home in Northern New Jersey to Long Island where he is. Even though it's a tough route across the Cross-Bronx Expressway, the Cross-Island and out the LIE. That's not the hard part. The traffic is nasty, at times, but I'd drive 100 miles if I had to. It's not that at all. It's just plain hard to see someone once so strong ride out their life like this. I may not have agreed with all that he has done but he has given me alot. Some of his lessons I have kept but others that I disagreed with, I have thrown out. But in the end, he is my Dad and this has been hard.
He's on the 2nd half of the marathon now and it's tough going. He's stopping at every aid station trying to catch a second breath. He's digging deep.
April 06, 2008
Last Saturday, four of us gathered for a long bike ride in wind chill weather of 25 degrees. We were in desperate need of a long ride. The warm weather has been stubborn in its arrival this year and there was a panic to get out. But 5 minutes in, with the wind blowing hard, no one wanted to continue on.
"Let's go get breakfast" This is something we always say but never act on. No one wanted to give in this time either. But as we rode on, the thought of sitting around a hot, cup of coffee was very appealing. The toes and finger tips were starting to hurt. The spirit was just not into it.
"We could do that route we did this past week." That's when the weather was about 50 degrees. The loop was about 15 miles. I was hoping for 40 today. But then it came: "let's just go once around." Everyone agreed. That's how we did a long ride of 7 miles. And then went for breakfast. man, that coffee was hot and good!