Flying Free

Flying Free

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Toasting with a Plastic Glass

My father lives with me.  Today is his 80th birthday.  Wow, 80 years old.  Just this week he dug a whole in my basement and put in a new sump pump, built himself a new TV stand, and transplanted a huge shelf that he made a couple of years ago.  This morning, when my brother and I were out to breakfast with him, he asked me when I was going to get the paint so he can start painting my daughter's kitchen.  He tires me just to watch him "keep himself busy."  

My father is a proud man.  He's always been self-supporting and self-motivated.  He likes to do things himself and takes pride in his work.  His mind is quick and his body is aging.  It frustrated him that it may take him twice as long to do a job as it did a few years ago.  I am constantly reminding him that he is so much younger than the 80 years he has become.  He doesn't see it, but I do.  I see a man so much more active than many of his 80 year old counterparts.

One of the things that my father tends to focus on is his inability at times to grasp items in his hands as firmly as he once did which has resulted in many a glass, coffee cup and dish crashing to the floor and shattering to pieces.  This "flaw" tends to frustrate him the most.  I have attempted to ease his discomfort by buying plastic cups and paper plates so that his accidents are not shattering.  In my mind, it is a very small price to pay for a man who does so much for me.

Not to long ago, as a plastic glass slipped through his fingers and the contents spilled over the floor, he looked at me and said, "Don't you get sick of this?  Aren't you embarrassed that you make people drink out of plastic cups when they visit?"  

"Nope, not at all," I replied.

"I don't believe that, you have to be a little embarrassed."

"Sounds like you are more embarrassed than I am.  If it makes you more comfortable, I'll use the good paper products for company."  I gave him a quick grin and went back to cleaning the contents of the spilled drink.

I could almost feel him smiling as he shook his head.  The truth is, I'd trade all my dishes, glasses and cups for his comfort and not feel one damn bit ashamed about doing it.


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