Holiday Memories of Dad

The winter season prompts vivid memories of driving dad to the local pharmacy for his annual flu shot and, making the final rounds of doctors appointments prior to the end of the year. Dad enjoyed going for car rides just for the sake of getting out of the house and enjoying the fresh air and getting his much needed exercise. I remember how he would sit quietly in the passenger seat of my car and hang his head out of the window, relishing the rush of the wind in his coarse gray hair as if he were 75 years younger. I chuckle when I recall how he took great delight in sharing his myriad of aches and pains with his doctors during his multiple medical appointments. I found this curious as he assured me weeks prior to his appointments that he was fine and feeling great! I think he simply loved the time and attention his doctors lavished upon him so generously. Dad was blessed with kind and compassionate physicians who always made time to listen attentively to his many grievances. After his appointments we would go shopping for a few warm winter sweaters and tank tops at the local mall and grab a quick bite to eat during our excursion. Dad was a man with very defined tastes when it came to his wardrobe, and he loved his tank tops in two colors, black and brown. Once in a while I would attempt to convince him to try something more colorful but dad wasn't having it! The fall season of 2010 proved to be the last time dad was able to move around without a great deal of assistance. I began to notice that he was beginning to refuse his favorite foods and relinquish his daily ritual of taking brisk walks around his neighborhood. Dad died in the early morning hours on a cold December day a few weeks shy of Christmas. I stood by his bedside in ICU as he looked up at the ceiling and smiled, as if an old friend walked into his room. He turned, looked at me, took his last breath and drifted off peacefully into eternity.