Cat’s upstairs, asleep. Thus far we’ve had a marvelous week off. Spent two days at the U.S. Grant Hotel in downtown San Diego. Visited our old haunts throughout the downtown area, where we used to live. Lovely all around.
While we were having that fun, my father, in North Carolina (where he lives) took a fall in the parking lot of a bank, hitting his head. That knock landed him in a “senior rehabilitation facility,” where he’ll now spend two to three weeks being tested to determine if he’s well enough to continue living alone, as he has been for the three years since his wife died.
If he’s deemed unfit to live alone, then he’ll probably transition into the assisted care facility owned by the company that owns the place he’s at now. If he’s determined healthy enough for independent living, he’ll continue with Plan A, which was moving into the “retirement living community” he was arranging to go into the very day he hit his head.
That’s what he was doing at the bank: arranging his money to move into a retirement community near his house.
He was supposed to be moving out here to San Diego, to be near me and Cat. That was the original plan A. Cat and I had done considerable planning toward his moving here. We were surprised to learn that those plans had changed.
My dad’s not exactly what you’d call emotionally healthy. He never has been. That doesn’t make him a bad guy; he’s not, really. He’s a terrible father, for sure. But, for instance, he never hit me—at least not until I was old enough to fight back, which was something I always appreciated, since he’s six-four and strong as a horse. (I never did return his blows. Who needs that drama? Better just to hunker down and wait them out. Besides, he never truly wailed on me. He was venting, not attacking. If he were attacking, I’d be dead.)
My dad was a poor husband, too. Just … not good.
He’s just not good at anything involving love, basically. But except for that minor detail, he’s awesome. He’s amazingly hilarious, for instance. He’s pretty much guaranteed to be the funniest person anyone who’s ever met him has ever met.
He’s not as funny as me, of course. But who is?
Today Cat and I are going to the San Diego Natural History Museum, to see a display on lizards. We love lizards. After that, we’ll go to the San Diego Model Railroad Museum, because we also love trains. We’ve long looked forward to visiting these two museums on this day of her week off work.
One of the key philosophies defining the life my wife and I have enjoyed together for the past thirty years is this: If your first childhood fails, make yourself a new one. (Which, in many ways, is to say: Go back and rescue the kid—your kid—who wasn’t treated right). So that’s what Cat and I have always done with our lives. Because we understand that if you don’t get that part of your life right, nothing else for you ever goes right.
We’re all children at heart. And children we remain.
And this, of all times of the year, is the best time to remember that.
Merry Christmas, friends! And if you’re lucky enough to have them, kiss your children for us.