It is my father’s birthday. He turns 82 today, forty years older than my venerable 42. For decades, I could wait on marriage and kids because my father waited. As I pass by the age when he was last a new father, I am either behind or not having a family in this lifetime. I wonder if my father finds sad my lack of children. Barren! He probably does. Over half of Americans are now single.
What does 82 feel like? Are you the same person as 42? I rely much on my body to bike and run, but my career demands neither great strength nor dexterity. I may still be able to program LEDs and cut fabric at 82, although the year 2054 may not have fabric or LEDs. Everything then will be digital and on screens.
My Dad is slowing down, but he’s aware of the progression. A few years ago, he made his last big piece of furniture, a bed for me. He recently finished a chair. Will he next make small bookshelves and then wooden coasters? I struggle with the finite of life. He dreamed once of building a house.
He preserves his inner world. He continues to buy art at auction. He reads great books and rows on the machine downstairs. We discuss stocks and our financial futures. He finds troubling my lack of unemployment.
It is October 15 and the birthday of my Father. I wish him much luck, light, and love on his next trip around the sun. 42 years ago, life threw him one hell of a curveball: triplets. He and my Mom did the best they could not only to raise three children at once but also to cherish them. Thank you, Dad.