“Put another candle on your birthday cake you’re another year old today!” Today is my dad’s 88th birthday. Happy Birthday Pop! Hope you have a great birthday! It just doesn’t seem possible that a year has passed since we celebrated his 87th! How the hell could 365 days have flown by so fast? It’s really incredible! His long life comes as no surprise really, his father lived to the ripe old age of 95 and several other family members lived well into their 90’s. He never smoked and doesn’t drink, hasn’t for years, if his health remains good there’s a pretty good chance my dad could have lot more birthday’s coming his way, God willing.
Oh he’s still got his aches and pains to deal with and the cartilage in his knees hasn’t miraculously regenerated, but he’s doing okay. He’s turned in his cane for a walker and uses it regularly now, he doesn’t leave home without it. His heart remains strong, but it beats much slower and after a fainting episode in October and a brief stay in the hospital, he saw a cardiologist for the first time in his life. The cardiologist told us that the episode may have been medication related and took him off one of his prescriptions. He did say that if it happens again he may need a pacemaker. It’s been nearly three months since he fainted and he’s had no reoccurrences, so we just have to wait and see.
A lot has changed since his last birthday. The biggest of course, is the unexpected loss of his younger sister and my younger brother who passed away last February less than a week apart. May they rest in peace. My brother had been living with dad in his mobile home. After his death we moved my dad out. We suggested a retirement home or coming to live with one of us, but he’s a fiercely independent man and wanted a place of his own. We found him a small one bedroom home on a large lot less than a half mile from our home. It was perfect for him.
Yeah he still has his wits about him and a good sense of humor, but his hearing is going. Sometimes he’s got the TV cranked up so loud even with his door shut you can hear it loud and clear. Hopefully we’ve solved that problem. Ray and I got him a set of TV Ears for his birthday. You know, those lightweight, personal wireless headphones you see advertised on TV. That way he can hear the TV clearly without disturbing anyone.
One of the big problems my dad was having last year was getting in and out of his car but that’s no longer an issue. As a result of his slow heart beat and the fainting he can no longer drive and has let his drivers license lapse. It’s tough on him not being able to drive, it’s how he made his living for nearly 40 years, yeah he was a real truck driving man. Losing that bit of independence is hard, I know he dislikes having to rely on others to get around, but we really don’t mind. We’re more than happy to take him anywhere he wants to go, the market, Walmart, his girlfriend’s, wherever.
Along with giving up his drivers license my dad lost another personal freedom, he was told he could no longer live on his own. Since mid October he’s been living with us. He’s got his own bedroom and run of the house but he spends most of his time in his room kicking back in his recliner watching his 37 inch flat screen. He loves the Western channel! He seems to enjoy living here. He’s not much of a talker so it’s hard to tell. I know it’s a lot noisier than living alone. With Ray and I, Alan and Bianca, the visiting grand kids and the dogs running around, it seems there’s always something going on. I know its a big change, but I hope he’s comfortable here.
Well Pops, let’s hope and pray that 2012 will be a much better year for you. Don’t you know 88 is the new 78!
Happy Birthday Dad!
I hope you have an incredible Day!