21 July 2007

61 88

What a month this has been. The last entry was posted on my 61st birthday. It is now ten days since my father died at the age of 88. He had been failing rather quickly since returning to Alfred, New York, the return precipitated by the move of his second wife Ethel (widow of Harmon Dickinson, a seminary buddy) to a nursing home. He just wasn't ready to be a burden. He fell in early July and broke his femur just below the hip. With his congestive heart failure, he was a risky candidate for hip replacement but since his hip and leg weren't attached, a partial hip replacement was successfully performed on July 6th. Four of us kids, with assorted family members, encircled Dad at Packer Hospital in Sayre, Pa. His heart and soul were not fully in the recovery, or perhaps he realized he didn't have the strength to recover enough to make it worthwhile. Having been wished "Godspeed" by phone by his middle daughter, Dad sped away. We kids had a memorial service in the woods near my sister Carol's farmhouse, the farmhouse she shares with Barb Crumb, in Branchport, New York. Branchport is near Penn Yan at the northern end of Keuka Lake.

My dad and mom provided the ethical foundation for my life, along with Lois Smith and others I've met on the way. Still, I had lived away from my folks for decades. We loved each other but our daily lives were not much entangled. My brother Doug who lives in Alfred has been the rock of our family life as Dad's health failed, partly due to proximity, partly due to temperament and familiarity with Alfred and SDB ways.


e said...

Sherman - I am so sad to hear about your father. I know that sounds like a boring way of expressing my sympathy but it is how I feel. I wish I was in NYC so we could go out for a cup of coffee and you could talk about your father. Sending you a virtual hug.

shermaniac said...

thanks, e. it's been a trying time. last week, arno shared the comments from the original catalogers about the atmosphere. no surprises really, just too true and i'm not sure i want to fix it. well, i'm sure we can't go on as is but i'm not sure i can be ME and fix the endemic problems. perhaps it's my dad speaking, perhaps it's my dad's death putting things in perspective. at any rate, yesterday's fantasy thought was going along with my brother and getting the small business loan and buying the small bookstore in wellsville.