Friday, December 28, 2007
The Tree We Left Behind-Updated
We are at my dad's house for a couple of days. Tomorrow we go to Disney World! Larry-O, Petra and me!! We are psyched.
Right now Larry and Petra are walking on the beach, "bonding," as Larry said on his way out the door. I have just peeled a whole mess o' potatoes, and a lovely, exotic piece of meat awaits its moment of glory in the oven.
Dad seems good. Better than I expected. I have an ongoing fear that he is shriveling away in my absence. But he was perky when we arrived, nicely dressed and pressed in clean clothes, and looking well. He took us immediately to his favorite Italian restaurant.
We are here less than 48 hours total. I have decided in recent months that I need to see Dad more frequently. He still expresses reservations about moving... I don't think I'll get him to come up to my neck of the woods. But the least I can do is to see him more. 86. He's amazing, really.
After we arrived yesterday he pulled out a bunch of old family photos. I saw some I'd never seen before, of him and my mom when they were first married (late 40's, early 50's). They look so beautiful and hale. My mother looks unexpectedly like her favorite niece, very sweet-faced. One was a shot taken by the staff photographer at a restaurant in Miami, where they lived for a couple of years. It was the Copa Cabana, or some such location, "Home of the Zombie." I had a sudden revelation of my own parents, out partying, drinking, just like I did at that age, or just like Larry is beginning to (nearly a year shy of legality). It's an odd thought, getting a glimpse of your own parents out of "character" (i.e., their entire world revolving around the care and nurture of me, their child!).
Dad has no tree, but his customary enormous poinsettia, through which he has wound tiny white lights. He made some effort with the house... decorations out, things he thought the kids and I would like to see. I spent some time reading through his cards, many of which carried some note about my mother. "Her beautiful spirit."