My Mom died a year ago today, so you are undoubtedly wondering, how is my Dad doing?

Dad, 60 years ago. Some of you will recognize the pic

Dad, 60 years ago. Some of you will recognize the pic

The answer: surprisingly good. I thought it might be hard for him to adjust to being alone, but though he misses my Mom, he’s remained cheerful. He has a horror of nursing homes– he wants to stay in his house– and he’s been able to do that, with my and my sister’s help.

He’ll be 94 in a few days, so we’ll be doing some family stuff, including showing some of the slides I’ve been scanning.

His mind is still active, but he tends to fixate on routines and particular preoccupations. We go out on Fridays to one of a small number of favorite restaurants, and at one of them he kind of prides himself on always ordering the same thing– the walnut chicken salad. Except last time we went, because it was too cold for a salad. He remembers new events but repeats his stories a lot.

He wrote a note for his company’s retirees newsletter, and he’d probably like to share what he wrote about his 71-year marriage: “The secret to happiness is to love each other, do things together, and enjoy your family.”

One of his perennial subjects is centrifugal force. He’s offended by statements that there is no such thing. He has a whole website on the subject here. He’s always asking me how to get more attention for it, but I’ve been wary of publicizing it, as I don’t want people sending him nasty mail. But these days I’m the one who checks his e-mail anyway, so I can filter it. He’s always been a smart guy, though he missed out on college… I’m pretty sure his problem with the textbooks is terminological, but he’d be tickled if someone liked his page, or at least addressed his concerns nicely.

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