Saturday, March 24, 2007

No Big Deal

On this rainy Saturday, I'm piddling around my apartment, cleaning rooms filing papers and generally trying not to think about my father, who was driven this morning from Biloxi, Mississippi to Houston, Texas … in an ambulance. And yes, the entire state of Louisiana is lodged in between there somewhere.

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.


Kath said...

Your dad sounds just like you...unquenchable thirst for life with plenty of fun thrown in for good measure.

Even tho it's just a 'procedure' please know you are both in my thoughts and prayers.

And next time Bob hits town, let's all get together so we can meet this wonderful man!


Fang Bastardson said...

"For the record let me state that I am completely and 100 percent against this whole parental mortality thing."

You'll be whistling a different tune once you have kids!

But serioulsy - Call if you need to (and I'm sure you won't need to). One of us is always up.


ClizBiz said...

What great friends I have.

susie said...

When you talk to him next can you ask him if they ever turned the siren on?

I'm thinking good thoughts for his most excellent heart. I also think it's great that he's getting it checked - way better than not getting it checked.

Hang in there Chica. I know that you won't rest easy till he's behind the wheel of his home again.

hotdrwife said...

I love your dad's cell phone message!! I think it says a lot ...

Give a call if you need anything.

Howard said...

Bad outgoing phone message ever!

I'd join in with the 'call if you need anything' thing, but, you know, it's 2 in the morning and I just woke up from a nap that was only supposed to be a couple of hours not 8.

But, hell, if you're up, caaaaall me, darlink.

Howard said...

And by 'bad phone message', I, of course, meant best or maybe bad ass-est or something.

Mark Dowdy said...

I wonder what this says about the state of medical care in Louisiana post-Katrina ...

Hang in there, Heather. Add me to your long list of friends you can call if necessary.

Jeff C. said...

I went through this with my grandfather many years ago...he recovered and is still roaming the suburbs of Ontario, CA to this day, but it's a scary time. If you need to get a drink, I'll be here, along with all of your other friends. Wait - are we friends? Or are we just improv mates? Sometimes I get the two comfused. Or confused. Whatever. I'll be thinking of you.

Heidi's heart said...

Heather, once again you have written something that makes me realize that, when the day comes, you will be the perfect person to speak at my memorial service. You have such a wonderful way of making everything everyone does seem so perfect and precious. Thanks for this glimpse at your dad, alive and kicking as he is! Yippee!