Deliveries Along the Road to the Cliff
My father is writing his memoirs and is not sure he’ll survive long enough to finish them. He has been saying things like that for almost thirty years. Understandably in a way, since both of his parents passed away before they reached the age of 63. Dad is a hearty if not completely hale 87. And I steel myself for another good-bye. He has died in my dreams at least once this last year. At least that parting will only be until we meet again in much better circumstances.
For the last fifteen years my dad has delivered Meals on Wheels every Monday, even on Christmas. I began joining him on his weekly adventure when a recent driving incident gave concern for his safety. We went to lunch and made a deal. “Dad, if your driving makes me nervous, we’ll trade places.” Several weeks in and we haven’t traded yet… but I have gained some insight into his heart. We deliver to ten little old people—several of whom are younger than he. They range from low-income high-rise dwellers to home-owners, but they are all old— on their way out. Finishing up. Like Dad.
Today I think of them as little old sheep all slowly edging toward a cliff, but looking after one other along the way. Today Mrs. E said, “I was worried about you.” The doorbell to her building was broken and she didn’t receive preliminary notice of our arrival. Mr. H, holding out a hot pot holder like a catcher’s mitt to receive his warm meal, smiled past the oxygen tubes and said, “it’s fun, isn’t it?” to my dad’s comment about getting old. Valle, the Meals on Wheels chef said, “It’s so great you are doing this with your dad,” and I said, “I’m just glad I can.”
Last week a mentor and role model passed away—someone only a few years older than I. She took early retirement to pursue her first love – a career in art and within two years faced cancer. Farewell.
Next: So Long Superwoman!
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