My two brothers and I, with our children, have all descended on the Florida town where my parents are renting an apartment for the winter. My mother’s desire to take my father, who at 90 years of age, is wheelchair bound, out of the apartment for meals, movies, and tonight for s’mores, knows no bounds.
Whose life is this anyway? I went from living my new gay life with a sense of freedom, joy, and fun to caring for my wife who was dying of cancer, caring for my father who is dying of old age, caring for my son who found himself accused of hazing, and working with my siblings to clean up my fathers estate, which is a mess.
My grandfather was, what they used to call, a natty dresser. Natty is an old fashioned term for someone who is smart and fashionably dressed. My grandfather was always beautifully groomed. There are movies and photographs of him and my grandmother visiting our home for birthdays, holidays, and other events. He was usually dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and bow tie. He was a tall, thin man, who was mostly bald when I knew him, with gold wire rimmed glasses and a cane to help him walk. Continue reading →
I am flying home after a short trip to Florida to help out my aging parents. How did the weekend go? The answer depends on how you see the world. Mom says, “Doesn’t dad look healthy? He’s doing so well, except that he can’t walk.” My brother, who came last weekend, says, “He just needs more PT to be stronger and he will soon be walking again.” My sister, who has made multiple visits to help my parents, says, “Dad is declining fast.” Continue reading →
After traveling to New York City on Amtrak I headed for the F subway train, carrying my suitcase and backpack up and down the stairs. I got off the F train at the Lexington avenue stop and followed the signs to the uptown 6 train. The signs took everyone to a narrow broken escalator that looked to connect us the the floor above. Once I started climbing the escalator stairs I realized the climb was much more than I had thought, at least three or four flights of stairs. The escalator was too narrow for me to stop, with a long stream of people behind me, so I kept going and trudged up the stairs with my backpack and suitcase. My left knee tweaked with a bit of pain and I began to breath heavily. Maybe, I thought, I should remember my age, 59 years, before I start climbing stairs like a twenty year old. I swatted away the thought and kept climbing.
I felt a level of anxiety, emotional lock down and coolness when I first arrived at my parents summer home. Two adjacent houses in a lovely New England town. I am in one house with my partner and a good friend of mine and his boyfriend. My parents and sister are in the other house.