Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Football and movies.with dad

I went to my nephew Mike's football game Saturday afternoon. It was a matchup of 4-0 teams, though Northbridge was a decided underdog, even playing at home. They fought 'em close, but lost in the end 16-7. The Auburn players were giants. Mike is about 5'6", 165 lbs- and plays ceneter, yes center.

He came just below the shoulder of the opposing nose tackle when standing up, but I have to say, the kid dug in and held his own. The best part of the game was that my dad agreed to come to it. He hasn't been getting out nearly as much as he used to. I asked dad if felt like going, and he said "sure," which surprised me. The game started at 2pm, and did hits the sack for his afternoon nap at 3pm- no exceptions. he also gets some medication at 3pm.

We hopped in my car, and began to head to the game when I noticed dad was wearing his slippers (which he likes to do in public.) I insisted on getting his shoes and bringing them along, suggesting the ground may be wet.

I drove to the gate and dropped dad off, at which point he quickly skipped out of the car and said, "I'm not taking my shoes," before bolting like a kid who had just gotten away with some sort of mischief.

We cheered, stood, sat and yelled for the Rams. It was an amazing experience for me. Seven months ago, this man was in the hospital and was so weak he couldn't walk. Walk? He couldn't sit up. My father couldn't put on a t-shirt. I had to hold him up with on arm, and wriggle the t-shirt over his head with the other.

Yet, here he was, up and out and rooting for the home team.

The previous Wednesday, dad and I hit a flick, "The Invention of Lying", the week before we saw "Surrogates" against his better judgment. While I got popcorn, dad went into the theater. When I showed up, he wasn't there, so I went to check the bathroom and see if he was in there, and just to make sure he was fine. As I went down the hall, I see dad coming out of another theater (which was also showing the same film). Dad yells at me from 60 feet away, "Where the hell are ya?"

We wound up in the right theater, and the flick was better than we expected, but any movie I see, any game I see, any time I get to spend with this little 85 year old kook, is the best spent time in my life.

Twenty years, or ten years, or five years from now, it's unlikely I'll wish I had spent more time playing poker tournaments, or playing video games, or driving around in circles. I have long appreciated time spent with my father, maybe moreso because my mother died when I was so young, but after seeing dad in the condition he was in last winter, after the 4th and 5th trip to the hopsital, we weren't sure he'd ever make it out of the hospital, the out of rehab, then up a staircase again, let alone be out rooting and viewing and getting haircuts and hitting CVS to buy shit he doesn't need again.

He is getting around quite well, very well, actually, and is planning on coming up to my place tomorrow for "Benjamin Button" (or an action flick if I can find one I think he'll like.)

I feel very blessed to know that these truly are the best days of my life. I am grateful that I can enjoy pop and let him be himself and just get a kick out of the nut. I would say, though it be a cliche, don't let days turn into weeks turn into months turn into years before you realize who is really important in your life, and what the most valuable commodity in the human experience is... time.


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