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A Visit with My Father.

19 January 2016

Over the long weekend I took BB and we went to Tucson to visit my dad. As I’ve written here, my dad had a stroke about a decade and a half ago. He’s been in a wheelchair ever since. He’s in his mid 70s now and talks a lot about suicide. I would understand it. He can do very little except watch TV and talk on the phone. He lost his right side, and he was right handed. So everything is extremely difficult. He’s constantly frustrated. And he drinks far too much. If he decides it’s time to go, I think I’d accept it as his decision and not just an expression of depression.

But it was good to see him. He was in pretty good sorts this weekend. His pain was minimal and we got him out to dinner. He was able to make transitions from chair to car, and from chair to scooter. That’s critical. He got to meet BB for the first time. We watched a couple football games and argued about Donald Trump. (“Dad, the only recent historical leader that Trump sounds like is Hitler.” “That’s not true. Also Mussolini.” “Then why do you support him?” “He’s the only chance this country has.” “I don’t want that kind of chance. Oh look, Carolina scored AGAIN and it’s only the first half of the first quarter.”)

BB and I took a morning to go trail running, out in the Arizona scrub desert. BB AZ

I’m told these Saguaro Cactuses are usually 75 years old the first time they branch. So this monster is probably 150-200. We saw some that had three and four branches, probably weighing in at 400 years. It’s kind of amazing. They’re the Redwoods of the desert.

It was a long way to go for a short visit, but it was good. BB spent a lot of time with my stepmom, who is a verified saint. I think that J needed that. I don’t think she gets enough female socialization. BB and I cooked for them and we had a pretty good time. My family is… challenging, compared to hers. But I’m glad we went. And she doesn’t seem horrified, which is really all I was hoping for.

I like to say, “If everyone else in a family is crazy, you didn’t meet the only sane one.” My family is pretty crazy. We’ve earned it. And I’m not the sane one. I’m as crazy as any of us. But I have done a lot of work on myself, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I’ve worked really really hard to cast off my old dysfunctions and move forward in life productively. I’ve been moderately successful. The rest of my family has made their own strides. We’re better than we were. We’re not as good as we might one day be.

But all of us have our own successes now. I’m proud of us. I’m proud of me. It’s been hard work. But I’m finally in a place where I feel like I’ve earned a lot of the good things in my life. And I’m going to keep at it. I love my dad. I hope he finds his own peace one way or another.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. 19 January 2016 10:32

    I love the Trump conversation. Yesterday there was a debate in the UK parliament, in a second chamber so not something that meant laws could be set etc. but one in which any MP could say whatever they wanted under parliamentary privilege – that means you can’t then take them to court over what they said about you… 😉 The topic was whether Donald Trump should be banned from entering the UK. This debate was forced by an on-line petition gaining 500,000 votes, anything over 100,000 votes has to be considered for a debate. So many wanted to speak at this one that the 4 hour or so debate had to minimise speaking time to 6 mins each. Mr Trump certainly rouses passionate opinion. Frankly I’d love him to come here. I’d gladly walk to any street in London he wanted to as far as I’m concerned there are no areas I’m not safe and I’d like him to see what we do in trying to be an integrated multi-cultural, multi-faith society. Interesting isn’t it that the USA deliberately in its constitution set state separate from religion but still the view of being good Christians and anti-non-Christian rhetoric and sentiment seems to pour from parts of USA mainstream media and politics. In contrast in the UK we have a state religion – Church of England – the Queen is the head of that in fact so head of state and head of the state religion in one. We have all the Bishops sitting in the House of Lords and voting on our laws etc. with no requirement for them to be elected or accountable to the electorate at all. However it still seems to me that we are more tolerant, accepting and integrative than what I can see in the USA at times.

  2. Aimee permalink
    20 January 2016 00:05

    Dad was a Trump supporter when I went to see him last summer. But there’s been a lot of crazy water under the bridge since then and I was hoping Trump had alienated dad since. I guess not. Poor senile old bastard. Glad you had a good visit.

  3. Syd permalink
    27 January 2016 09:33

    Poignant to visit an aging parent. I would really like to hear my father’s take on Trump. He was a true Democrat and anti-Reagan. I can imagine he would abhor Trump.

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