The photo on the left is from his 80th birthday when we just happened to run into three showgirls at the MGM Grand’s valet parking area (really). He loves this photo.
I’m not sure what my 84th birthday will be like–if I’m lucky enough to even have one, but being 84 and being like my dad doesn’t sound too bad.
Yes, he has the physical infirmities that come with age. He’s only got one working eye… and it’s no prize. His hearing is awful even with hearing aids. He suffers from essential tremors which makes it difficult for him to hold his hands steady. He downs enough pills every day to make a junkie jealous.
That stuff’s unimportant. From the ears up my dad’s nowhere near 84.
He teaches a beginners computer class at his condo complex. Friends and friends-of-friends call for his assistance when a printer won’t work or they can’t get their email going. He is not intimidated by technology. He’s patient and understanding to those who are.
Though he no longer drives he wanted a GPS unit for his birthday. It arrived last week and he immediately opened it and walked to the car so he could plug it in. I totally understand. He’s not so jaded that he won’t let himself be amazed by what’s happened to the world around him.
He grew up in a Brooklyn neighborhood where deliveries were often made by horse drawn wagon. It was a pre-TV, pre-microwave, pre-touchtone, pre-credit card, pre-jet, pre-computer, pre-McDonalds era. He is pre-prenuptial. He has seen it all.
My folks are active. They live in a place where it’s fun to participate–and they do. Maybe that’s why they seem younger than the numbers indicate. They’re busier today than they ever were.
From time-to-time my father will say he’s “I’m an old man Geoffrey.”
That’s not a complaint. He’s not putting himself down. He’s saying it because he knows he’s younger than whatever the calendar currently shows. He’s bragging.
Without a doubt he is this blog’s most faithful reader. Could a son ask for more?
Happy birthday daddy. Many, many happy returns. I love and respect you more than you’ll ever know and I cherish each moment with you.