My father turns 81 today. Something of a miracle really as the doctors have had us outfitting him for a casket more than once* over the past three years.
He is a very lucky man. Not because he has survived long past medical predictions but because he used the time to make amends to his family and to be a better husband and father with the extra time he was granted.
Not many people would have fought like he did or work as hard as he has to remain around and rebuild burnt bridges and build new memories. He had much to atone for and, in my opinion, he has acquitted himself admirably.
I imagine that many people would wonder why long life has been granted to someone like my dad while so many other – younger – people were not as lucky. He certainly didn’t merit the time if one were to look closely at the choices he has made and the people he has hurt by them.
But life really isn’t interested in our opinion. It keeps its own counsel as to who reaches old, old age and who does not. There are reasons. And they aren’t our business.
I don’t know if Dad even has a favorite song. It wouldn’t be rock or pop because he loathed the stuff we kids listened to as we were growing up. The only music he ever listened to at all was country and big band. In fact he met my mom at a dance and they did their early courting on the dance floor.
My father is a man who not only knew how to really dance but he loved to dance.
Happy Birthday to my dad then. A lucky man. A good man.
*Dad got sick around the same time as my late husband began his final decline and has cheated death on a regular basis since. In fact, Will’s first bout with pneumonia occurred when I was propping up my mom during Dad’s first surgery following recurrent TIA episodes. My father was upset that he couldn’t come and help out while Will was in hospice. He is really the only one of my family who wanted to see Will when he was in hospice. No one really visited him but BabyD, me and his mom for the entire three months – but that is another story.