My Ole Dad

The call came in around midnight. There were no complications. The cancer had not spread beyond the liver. Dad's heart had not faltered during the operation that must have lasted six or seven hours. Nor had he had any other problems. Everything seems to be okay. Not bad for an 85-year-old.

I prayed tonight. I prayed that his old guy who has seen so much would have a few more years. These years, I know now, being this side of 40, are precious, even though they go so fast. A life seems so relative to me now. It used to matter to me how you spent your life, whether you follow your dream, whether you succeed or fail, whether you accomplish something. But now none of that really matters. It's just life itself. A collection of years, and in the middle of them, you - or Dad. What were Dad's years filled with? He went through the Second World War, and survived. He did not shirk from the task of having children and raising them, like I did. He had six children, raised them, found a way again and again to get the money to fed them. He had discipline, he had values. He was true to his wife, with whom he is still married. He joined the Mormon church after marrying her and stayed in the church all his life. He did not put so much account by things like finding yourself or having one midlife crisis after the other that he would let such things bring him from his path. He was a good man in every way. And of course no matter how you fill your years, they are never enough. In Dad;s case they were certainly not what he deserved. I suppose most people can say that about themselves.
All I asked of God was to give him a few more years. He got them.

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