Sunday, October 27, 2019

Gone Too Soon and an Impressively Frightening Makeover

My dad would've turned 94 today had he not passed away so soon, 6 weeks shy of his 70th birthday due to emphysema.

There was a side to him that he was never comfortable opening-up about—mostly related to his childhood and losing both of his parents at an early age. I respect that decision of his to keep that to himself. I do wish, though, that I had been closer to him. I didn't need to know the details of his past but I would've liked to have had a more meaningful relationship with him.

I can't recall the two of us ever sitting down and talking about how I was doing; what were my interests or plans for my future. I was so in need of his guidance and assurance but that need seemed lost on him. With 5 other siblings contending for his time in addition to his frequent business trips away for days on end, I suppose we all just accepted what little he could give us in the way of attention. But having said all that, he did offer sage advice to me when I needed it most after I was offered my job with the FAA. It was my dad who suggested I take the job offer when I was unsure about what to do—that I could always quit the FAA and return to college if that's what I really wanted. It was some of the best advice he ever gave me as well as some of the only advice he'd ever offered me and for that, I am grateful.

The last 5 years of his life were especially difficult for him, tethered to an oxygen tank where even the most basic tasks had become arduous. He had occasionally tried to shake his smoking habit over the years but I don't think he ever managed more than a few days smoke-free. He tried to substitute a pipe for his Winston cigarettes in the late '60s but that too was shortlived. I saw his passing as more of a relief than a time of sadness, especially for my mother who was there to tend to his every need in his final years. She loved him dearly.

Rachel and Drew's Halloween costumes were quite sick, as in, I think they need a doctor! It's not the first time she's pulled off this effect. She's getting quite good at it. It's a combination of latex, toilet paper, and fake blood along with some of her own makeup, she said. It's all layered until the desired look is achieved. She told me that her makeover took about 45 minutes and Drew's took a half-hour. As an added bonus, their contacts glowed in blacklight. Impressive!

I'm up to 64 leaf bags this year. Yes, I actually track that meaningless stuff. I'll have a few more to add to the total after tomorrow's yard work.

Charlie isn't too happy about a Halloween display along one of the routes we walk. He always has to stop and voice his displeasure.

Our Tuesday night and Saturday morning gravel rides are drawing to a close with the colder temps and lack of daylight. I have enjoyed these rides so much these past several months since diving into the world of gravel riding. It's everything and more than I was expecting. I've also made several new friends along the way. Win-win!

That's all I've got.

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