We often talk about “Elder Law” – and the legal steps that need to be taken to protect our parents in their aged and frail state. Recently–– I’ve experienced the “Elder law” issues not as the lawyer – but as the child. It’s a different perspective – one that in some respects I wish I did not have to learn – but these issues are not matters of choice. More importantly, the benefit of what I’ve learned and continue to learn has created a passion and empathy for the parents and their children who we have the privilege of helping. Given that it’s Father’s Day –I thought I’d share some thoughts stemming from this experience.
Dad, do you know it’s Father’s Day? This is your special day. I know that tomorrow, in all likelihood you won’t recall this conversation. The good side to this is that after 90+ years – you’re still around, you can still carry on a good conversation, your sense of humor is as good as ever and for the most part, you still look at every glass of water and see that it is half full. You’ve been that way forever – I know that because that’s how you’ve been for as long as my memory serves me.
I’m your son – so we never really engaged in that “gushy” type of talk about telling each other what we mean to each other and doing that constant calling thing that daughters do with their moms. I guess that’s nice, but that just wasn’t us. We talked sports and business – but we usually cut to the chase – viewing the phone as a communication device more than an extension of our hand and mouth.
I realize your best days are behind you – as you have expressed – and together we are grappling with new challenges. I know it’s tough. Truth be told, until the last year or so, with the benefit of your age and mine – I never realized how tough it was – for so many Moms and Dads and their children. You endured losing Mom years back and never complained. You were rock solid on health for so long – but now we are learning the ropes of Medicare covered Rehab and what happens when they say it is not. Finding the right solution – so your last stage – is as good as it can be – and how to pay for it. To be frank, it sure is not as fun as it was when we went to Tiger Stadium to watch Al Kaline, followed by Norm Cash and Willie Horton at bat.
Before it’s too late, I just want you to know – you were the greatest Dad a kid could ask for. You supported me in everything I did – never demanded I follow your course or your direction – but rather, you gave me the strength and latitude to follow my course – and encouraged me all along. So Dad – thanks for being you – and being there for me. I love you Dad.
To all the Dad’s out there – have a Happy Father’s Day – and to those elder Dad’s – have an Extra Special Father’s Day.