I'm told it's nothing urgent, they are just checking on the stent that was put in his heart a few years ago. Still, it's a "procedure" and I'm never comfortable with that. For the record let me state that I am completely and 100 percent against this whole parental mortality thing. Intellectually, I get that we are all temporary bits of squawking meat on the same conveyor belt, heading for the same hole in the ground, but emotionally, I cannot swallow it when it comes to my co-founders.
The fact is, if everything goes according to schedule, we will all see our parents die and for many of my friends, this natural process has already begun. This is taken with the perspective that no parent should ever have to watch their own child leave Earth before they do; even as a non-parent, this is a pain I cannot imagine. My stepmother watched her beautiful daughter die of breast cancer at 37 and how she managed to say goodbye, I'll never know.
These rambling paranoid thoughts are quite premature as my 73-year-old father is, otherwise, the jolly, bouncy picture of senior health. Beyond a noticeable addiction to Dairy Queen Blizzards and cheap cigars, he walks a few miles every night, plays golf and dutifully obeys his doctors. The man retired at age 48 and has been happily entertaining himself ever since, mostly by driving his motor home (which he lives in) wherever he damn well pleases. Bob "King of the Road" Clisby laughs easily, has endless patience and is a friend to all. He raised us with the lesson that "you are just as good as the movie star and no better than the trash man." His cell phone's message greeting kinda says it all:
"Wonderful day! I woke up this morning and I'm still alive and I think that's just great! I hope your day is going as good as mine. Bye-bye!"
True to his "everything is an adventure!" perspective, my Dad actually looked forward to the ambulance ride. "Should be fun!" he said last night and then scoffed at my request for the ambulance drivers' DMV records.
A few minutes ago, I spoke to him and sure enough, he fully enjoyed his medical road trip. The two drivers (one had an IQ of 175, apparently) were chatty and quite happy to play tour guide to Curious Bob. It's so admirable - the man has fun no matter where he goes or what situation he finds himself in. As he told me just a few minutes ago, "Oh, I'm doing just fine, punkin - I'm happier'n spit here." (For some reason, saliva often makes its way into his statements. This one was a shorthand version of his usual, "I'm so happy, I could spit!")
So, let the rain fall, I say. He'll be fine. I'll be fine. Our spit will be happy and eventually, we will all be dead and the cycle will continue … just like it is supposed to.