I spent the weekend visiting my dad. He’s 86 and finding new ways to move forward each day after losing my mom, his wife, after 60+ years together. He loves circuses and woodworking and figuring things out. Each time I visit him or talk to him on the phone, he gives me the rundown of his day–tomato plants planted, bushes trimmed, mulch unloaded from the car, groceries purchased, a visit to the dentist, time spent talking to the neighbor’s dog.
Last week, he spent the day at the circus and regaled me with stories of twisting acrobats, dancing ponies, and elephants near enough to touch.
And he has purchased blueprints for several woodworking projects. There’s a wheelbarrow planter, a bookshelf for me, and holiday decorations for his granddaughters.
If I start working today on all the plans I have bought so far, it will take me a year to build them all.
I love the ability my dad has to keep looking forward. At 86, many folks have given up, retired to the couch or rocking chair, or sadly lost the ability to think and respond as they once did. My dad has many challenges, but he keeps getting up each day and looking forward to the next without any guarantee that there will be one.
When people tell me I am a strong woman, I know I don’t have to look far to find my hero and role model. Dad is a study in persistance. Just as he keeps planning and looking forward, I try to do the same. As a writer, I can’t predict what comes next. All I can do is get up each day, sit down at my desk, and do
what I love.