My brothers and sisters and I are trying to figure out a way to celebrate my dad's 90th birthday this summer. It's not easy.
The man still farms with my brother, drives, lives on his own, and is as bull-headed as ever. We know that he will tell us he doesn't want a party and that if we have one, he won't go. Then, depending on his mood, he actually might not.
He is a difficult man. This absolutely true account of a phone conversation I had with him sums him up pretty well:
Dad: My leg has been driving me crazy. It hurts so bad I am having a hell of a time walking around the fields to irrigate.
Me: That doesn't sound good. How long has it been bothering you?
Dad: Oh, a few years now.
Me: A few YEARS? You need to go to a doctor!
Dad: Oh, I went to the doctor yesterday.
Me: (relieved) Well, great! What did he say about your leg?
Dad: Nothing. I didn't tell him about it.
Me: WHAT? Why not?????
Dad: Well, it's none of his goddam business!
That's my dad. Impossible.
As I am writing this, I am sitting with an ice pack on my foot. Ever since I went snowshoeing a couple of months ago, I've had pain in the top of my left foot. I ice it and take Advil, but it still hurts.
And something just occurred to me. When I was at the doctor's office this morning for a routine checkup, did I happen to mention this foot problem to my doctor? Um, no...I thought about it, but I figured she wouldn't really be able to tell me anything. I didn't want to waste my time...
Maybe the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. Sigh.