Dad turned 93 on Saturday. We had a celebratory luncheon at a restaurant.
SOS and I were late getting ready and hopped a cab.
“E-Mom, I am nervous.”
“Because I feel you are nervous. And I get nervous when you are nervous and my stomach starts to feel queasy.”
My child, the speaker of truths. “I am sorry, buddy, to put my nervousness on you. You are right. I am nervous because I think about the party we had when Grandpa was 90 and he was so strong. And I am scared that he won’t be so present today, because some days are good and others not so good. And it is my dad, and it is hard.”
“It’s ok, E-Mom, I get that. But now that Papa [FOPOB] is just like Grandpa, Grandpa will have good company no matter how he feels.”
Out of the mouths of babes. . . .
“You are so right, buddy. You know, you are wise—”
“E-Mom,” SOS interrupts, “we are almost there and I need quiet to get ready.”
Thank Goodness for SOS’s peculiarities keeping it real; otherwise, I would go to Tibet and claim that he was the future Dalai Lama.
We had a lovely lunch with family. People came from far and wide — BOB from Texas, Cousin Gentle from the Upper West Side, and in the strongest showing, FOPOB came from the upper East Side.
The restaurant is in the Museum of Art and Design, with spectacular views of Broadway and Central Park. We could even see the early signs of leaves changing color for the Fall. The changing of the seasons. The passage of time. The changing of the guard. It was all so bittersweet.
Still, Dad looks so strong as he is making a point about something. Somewhere, deep inside that forgetful, enfeebled, needy, nice old man is our Dad. And sometimes, he is as strong as ever, as supportive as ever, and as opinionated as ever. And in those moments, I could live a lifetime.
Happy birthday, Dad,