Friday, October 3, 2008

Visiting Dad

Dad called for a surprise visit at lunch. He's in town for tests. He rolls his eyes for giving his new wife new things to worry about. His lung function is rated something like "extreme" which means they have an upper time limit. "Five or ten years", dad says.

I saw shades of myself as we talked, because he and I were more interested in the advances in technology, and the relative efficiency of the office. Or perhaps those things are a little easier to talk about. Dad was impressed with the speed they got him through his tests. In for a CAT scan at nine, they promised he could see his specialist by ten. And they did. Dad credits the speed to the small office with a few people managing several tasks. The same lady who gave him his wrist band reviewed his chart and fast-tracked him to the front of the line. Dad says he sat in the waiting room only a minute. It was obvious the counter staff knew the doctor who was ordering the tests, and knew what they had to do. Dad was similarly impressed that his doctor had all the test results in front of him when they talked.

It was a lot easier talking to dad this time. I've lost some of my old defensiveness, and he seems to have mellowed a bit. Or perhaps he's always been mellow and I've finally stopped striving to meet some imagined standard. He still worries about me, drilled me about the state of my home, my children, my work. It's all good, really. Very good.

Dad will do just fine, too. We compared notes on the "ideal" diet and the trials of reducing salt. Funny, how much more I taste the food now.

It's like, Naomi taught me to see the blue. Now dad's example is teaching me to savor. Every berry bursting it's own gift as I eat my oatmeal and milk.