After months of thinking and planning, talking and plotting the weekend of my dad’s 80th birthday has arrived and there is no rest for any of us… but that’s ok because it needs to be special for him.
My sister picked me up from the airport and immediately started in with the barrage of stories. She came in a week before me so she had plenty of time to spend with my dad before the party.
They had been running all over the state going to meetings, parties, dinners, you name it they did it.
My favorite story is when my dad found out about the party. We tried our hardest to keep it a secret but he is not the easiest to surprise.
He’s a bit nosey, and he’s pretty sharp so nothing gets past him, but we had made it this far and for that we were pleasantly surprised.
In my hometown the paper comes out once a week and my mom put an ad inside telling people about the reception on his birthday.
As my sister tells it, he picked up the paper yesterday and started to read it, which is the standard procedure in the house.
He read about a pancake breakfast, a wedding, and some other activity that was going on that she was going to miss because it happened after we left… then he got quiet.
And he grunted, which is again, what he does… frequently. He was reading the ad about his party then I think he said something like ‘there’s a party for me, did you know about this?’.
I think my sister said something to the effect of ‘yes we were in on it’.
He replied with ‘cancel it’, but deep down we know he is happy to have the party.
I think we’re all a little alike that way…. my sister, brother, myself and my dad. We like a little attention but we certainly don’t like to be singled out as the center of attention.
Because of that we need to make sure we handle this the right way, and we’re all on the same page which is a good thing.
When I got home he and my mom were heading out to a meeting and they asked if my sister and I wanted to go, I was pretty tired so I declined.
My mom suggested my sister and I stay home together so we could catch up, then my brother chimed in with some comment about party planning.
My dad quickly said ‘then let’s take one of them!’ We all laughed, he is the king of one liners!
I was kidding with him a little bit and poked him in his stomach, a little later my sister told me his stomach as been a little tender and my heart sank.
I immediately thought of Mr Wonderful and didn’t want to go there. My dad has battled different forms of cancer over the years but still looks better, and gets around better than any guy his age.
But I know some day that will all change. I can’t bear to go through it again, but I know eventually I will have to say goodbye but I certainly don’t like to think about it.
Unfortunately due to past experiences, every ache and pain he has seems to force me down that road, much like I do with everyone I know.
I hate that I’m this paranoid and worry about it but I can’t help it, it’s what I do… at least until I can get this out of my brain which may never happen.