The Kind Of Memories Dad Doesn’t Want You Don’t Want To Have

When you live within 15 minutes of a major airport you’re bound to wind up staring at a plane wondering if it is coming or going somewhere interesting and exotic.

It’s easy to look at the flying metal beast and day dream about adventures and undoubtedly more pleasurable than wondering how fast you can buy a ticket and be on a plane to the coast.

Those kinds of  run for the plane and hope you get to where you be on time aren’t ever fun and though I am a collector of tales I would give up the few I have.

“I can’t talk right now, your dad won’t get up.”

“Do you want me to yell at him? My sisters say I do a perfect imitation.”

“He won’t listen, I have to go.”

“Ok mom, let me know how I can help.”

Cell phones don’t end with the click those of us of a certain age remember. You can’t leave them off the hook and get a busy signal to wake you up from your wool gathering either.

Eventually I put on some music, figuring it will help me process and think. I don’t want to make a rash decision or suffer from paralysis of analysis.

So I close my eyes and let the music play for a while knowing I’ll figure it out.

There is no rhyme or reason to the songs, it is just wherever I left off on YouTube and whatever follows.

A morbid thought crosses my mind, if things go badly in LA I may remember these songs for reasons I would prefer not to.

The Kind Of Memories Dad Doesn’t Want You Don’t Want To Have

My middle sister says there may be confusion at the hospital about dad’s DNR and his wishes in general.

We’re both calm and engaged in a rational discussion about options and what we can or cannot do.

“You know these are the kind of memories dad doesn’t want you to have.”

She is quick to remind me I am covered by that too.

For better or worse, big brother habits don’t die easily.

“You’re 3,000 miles away and I am 1,500 so there is nothing we can do from here. I am not sure if it would matter if were there, but I wish we were.

I guess I’ll look into flights.”

My sister says she already has and we spend a couple minutes m0re talking about what we don’t know or understand.


Alone for a moment in the car I think about Stonehenge and wonder if the secrets of the druids can be accessed from afar.

I would make like Johnny but instead of playing for a fiddle made of gold I would play for knowledge, except the devil knows not to go past Georgia so it won’t happen.

Neil Young shows up and I nod my head, I am my own man and yet I am the men who came before me.

Would be nice if I could talk to them about it all, but that is not an option. This is a learn as you go situation and wishing otherwise isn’t worth a damn.

Make A List

The news isn’t good but it is hard to determine how seriously to take it because dad doesn’t present the way doctors expect.

His long time doc has told me more than once that my father is proof that you can’t rely solely upon numbers.

If you didn’t know him you would think of him as a very sick man because he is, but until the cancer butted in he mostly did as he pleased.

Since I don’t know how long it will be before I hear anything I use the crazy energy to help fuel my workout.

Today I don’t care about form, all I care about is throwing iron around. I need to exhaust myself.

In between sets I look at Facebook and am disgusted by the people who make excuses for the wannabe strongman who is deluded into believing he can pardon himself.

Their willful blindness and refusal to hold him accountable is more than I can accept. I chime in on a few discussions and am candid with my opinions.

Chances are I will not win any hearts or minds, but I will let people know I am not going to spare their feelings for their failure to be responsible with their actions.

I will not give any quarter any more because 500 days is long enough to know the mobster-in-chief isn’t just a bad president, he is a bad person too.


“Make a list Josh, be productive. Stay busy.”

I can’t make a list because I can’t bring myself to focus on doing so. That is work and I can save it for tomorrow.

“Save yourself some time, make a list Josh.”

The repetition doesn’t move me into action, it irritates me. It feels more like a kick in the balls than the pants.

Fact is I do better when I feel the weight of a deadline. I am good at being focused and being motivated to ‘just get ‘er done.’

Better to put on some music and get ready to do some more push-ups.

I Can Parachute In

Some hours later I get a call from my mother and she puts my dad on the phone.

“I can’t talk long because my throat hurts. The numbers look bad because of chemo, but I feel pretty good.”

“That is good dad, but this morning you didn’t feel that way. Listen to the docs.”

“I am.”

“Do you want me to come in?”

“No, that’s ok.”

I tell him I don’t mind and ask if he can tell me the story about the cousin who parachuted into Long Beach in 1933 but he has already given the phone back to my mom.

She says he is much better and shares a couple of things with me.

After she hangs up I think to myself that I could parachute in. It is kind of ridiculous and unnecessary, but knowing I could makes me feel better.

I figure there is no harm in that, might as well find the good, the silly and the bad and see what I can make of or with them, especially if it helps.

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