Thursday, January 12, 2012

An Elderly Son and His Father.

     Yesterday I was talking to my son on Skype. I noticed he  was wearing glasses so I asked him why. He told me they were for reading and then added,"I'm old like you!"

      This reminded me of a couple of incidents with my Dad.

      When I was close to 64 I sent my Dad a birthday card for his 91 st birthday. I had told him in the card that in two more birthdays I would be 65. Dad didn't have much site left due to Macular degeneration. He asked my step mom to read the card again. He thought for a bit and then said, "Red's an old man!" My step mom found this hilarious and so did I. There is something extremely incongruous when your father calls you an old man. 

      Two years before Dad passed away he made another comment that was significant. Dad was a farmer all his life. He looked at the world with farmer's eyes. All judgments were from his farm life. I became a teacher and of course you know that Dad's opinion was that I worked from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM and the money wasn't bad. Furthermore, I had weekends off, two weeks off at Christmas and two months off in the summer. He thought this was pretty soft. He really wanted me to teach near the farm so that I could help him out on the farm with all my spare time. At age 94 he said to me,"Well, you did all right after all!" This comment amazed me. I thought my career was successful and that I was fortunate to have savings and a good pension. I realized that all these years he had looked at me with concern. In his mind if I didn't own 3000 acres of farmland and a few humongous tractors I was not well off.

     Dad died in 2008. How fast the wheel  turns. I am elderly and my son has reached middle age. Slowly the relationship changes.