Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dad and I are okay.

Is blood thicker than water? Hard to say, especially when the water is as green and goopy as the water at the lake this year. Thickness aside, blood does allow one to leave the door open while peeing, and both dad and I do a lot of that.

I think it's probably just his 65-year-old prostate, but dad does complain about having to pee often and urgently. This means not having to explain why the cooler with the bait in it also contains an empty cottage cheese container, or why I sleep with one next to my bed at the cabin. Actually, I came close to telling my dad that I've been wearing Depends Guards for Men for the last 5 years and that I highly recommend them. Why didn't I? Well, I told myself that he doesn't sound quite as bad off as I am, that he would never put himself in diapers, that it would complete his journey to geezerness in the eyes of his wife, who's twenty years younger, and god forbid his two tweener kids should find out. But it was hard to hear him talk about how he, like me, finds himself avoiding social situations in which he might find himself unable to get to a bathroom. Still, there are probably worse things to regret about one's relationship with one's father.

Usually, when dad's up at the cabin, he seems to do a lot more work than recreating. Last weekend, though, I was proud how little work he did and how much time we spent sitting in the boat together. Fishing was good, and we spent an hour filleting crappies after a couple glasses of wine. I think both of us realize the extent to which we are cut from the same cloth. At the same time, I think we both realize the extent to which I, as a result of MS, cannot live a life that looks like his: I'll probably never be able to live with the self-sufficiency and independence that he and I both seem to prize.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Me and dad, up north

I'm just recently back from a lovely week at my dad's cabin up north, a week of fishing, reading, and gin and tonics. Today, I'm going back. This time, though, it'll just be me and my dad.

He bought the place maybe 8 years ago, and has put a lot of time into making improvements (hooking up water and electricity were the big ones). But he seems to spend most of his time up there alone. His tween-aged kids aren't crazy about the place, and my step-mom gets there maybe once a year. I talked to him a couple days ago when he was home alone between his usual duties as chef and chauffeur, and he sounded just plain lonely.

He's a kind of solitary person, like me, and I get the sense that he's increasingly afraid of getting old and dying. It's not something his second family can really relate to (my step-mom's in her early 40s), but I feel like I might have some insight into what he's feeling.

So we'll go up north, do some fishing, maybe install a new screen door, probably drink too much, and maybe continue to become friends. It's good for me, too.

Monday, August 06, 2007

This glass is half full.

Sure, it sucks to be diaper-dependant at the age of 36, to be allocating money to your section 125 account for the substantial amount you will spend over the course of the year on Depends, to fret over whether to pay a few bucks extra to get them shipped from Amazon instead of going through the grocery checkout line with them.

On the other hand, when, on occasion, you roll over in bed just a little too far toward your sleeping spouse, such that when you wet the bed, as you do maybe 1 out of every 3 nights, thereby actually wetting the bed and not merely the waterproof pad on which you sleep , consider this: the perfect cleaning product for the task is an enzymatic spray that is available at your local pet store, and the packaging of that product features a sheepish-looking beagle, not a picture of the sheepish-looking 36-year-old man that you see in the mirror.