Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Hey, Dad, It's My Birthday
We have made it through the Jewish holidays somehow or another. My father insisted on attending services with us in the mountains (a one hour and forty-five minute trip up and back two times). He insisted on going to services (the second day was three hours plus and he finally made us leave). Then, after saying he wasn't going to go with us for Yom Kippur services, he changed his mind and insisted we take him with. We decided to only attend at night. I warned him that it may be cold and snowy. (It was). It didn't matter to him, he said. "We have no kitchen," I told him. (We're remodeling). It didn't matter to him. We traipse up the mountains to our kitchen-lacking home. We, of course, have to go out to dinner and, of course, we have to go early to get a handicapped space at the chapel. (This is the fourth meal we've had to eat out in order to accommodate my father. Keith, my husband, always pays.) He stays awake for the service and, as if to show his macho side, rises and sits throughout the service. "I'm confused," he tells me. "About what?" I ask. "Where are we going?" "To services tonight, then home for Break the Fast tomorrow." He gets up the next morning and asks if we're going out. I tell him Keith and I are fasting, but I'll go to McDonalds and get him some breakfast. I go down the mountain, purchase the breakfast (for $5.47 you get a drink and hash browns...I've never eaten breakfast at McDonalds and the clerk stares at me as I try to navigate the process). My father eats everything and then we head on home so I can prepare for the Break the Fast with our children and grandchildren. The next day I am visiting his apartment and take out his calendar. "You know," I tell him. "My birthday is Tuesday. Why don't you have that written on there? You've got your grandson's, you've got your son's. Why don't you have mine?" Tears come to his eyes and he makes excuses. "You know what, Dad, Tuesday you're going to take me for lunch and you're going to pay." (We have to go to the doctor anyway so we might as well go to lunch.) He shows little emotion but agrees. I guess I'll ask the doctor once again for anti-depressants. He is really being a grump and I'm losing my patience.