I have my hands full with one woman

Graham Hookey writes about education and parenting.

On Tuesday, I took my mother and father on the usual weekly trek we make to the hospital, where he has his blood tested.

This time, my mother also had a doctor’s appointment and me and my dad found ourselves sitting alone in the vehicle for more than an hour, waiting.

Once the requisite discussion of the weather and the poor condition of the pavement in the parking lot had finished, he looked wistfully out the window and said, “You’ll take care of your mother, right?”

This wasn’t the normal tone with which he generally speaks to me, as it had a slightly deeper and more serious pitch.

Although he has been quite ill for some time, he never engaged in any conversations about circumstances after he might leave us. He often refers to himself as “half-dead,” but there was never any doubt that his “half-live” part was going to fight a battle to keep the upper hand.

Not sure if he had something more to say, I deflected with the response, “I don’t know, Dad.  I have my hands full with one woman; two might kill me.”

He smiled and I don’t remember how we got there, but we ended up talking about why women put so much in their purses, then have to empty them out five times a day and, whatever they are looking for is always the last thing left. Oh, and why it takes a woman (my mother specifically) longer to pick between two tomatoes than to buy a house.

I did remind him, just the same, that a trip to the hardware store with him went best with an army cot so you could have a nap while he debated the merits of various screw shapes and sizes for every job he had to do. Tomatoe/tomato; screw/screwnail.

We laughed, admitted we would both go to our graves without the slightest clue of how our wives really thought and he tapped me on the shoulder and only half facetiously told me, “Your mom will be in good hands with you, I’m sure.”  Just at that time we noticed her coming to the car and he said we better change the subject before we both were knocked up the side of the head.

The next day, my dad woke in a terrible state and within 24 hours had passed away.

Did he know something on Tuesday that he wasn’t telling me directly, but implying with his question?

In hindsight, I believe he was ready, that day, to give permission for the half-dead side of him to put the half-live side of him to rest.

But like the responsible husband and father that he was, he needed to be sure that things were going to be taken care of in his absence.

While I never answered him directly, I’m sure he knew the answer and now that I have spent the past four months primarily helping my dad pass from this life with dignity, my new primary focus will be helping my mom live hers the same way.

 

Graham Hookey writes about education and parenting (ghookey@yahoo.com).

Just Posted

November 75 per cent drier than normal in Maple Ridge

Environment Canada weather station located in Maple Ridge records data

Onni starting site work for Phase 4 of Golden Ears Business Park

Developer offers Pitt Meadows a $1.5 million amenity ‘gift to the city’

Ridge kid teeing up a university golf career

Maple Ridge’s Kahlert signs with UBC

Maple Ridge child centre gets $120K reno help

New location after flash flooded out in 2018

RCMP investigating threats at two Maple Ridge high schools

General threat at Westview, individual targetted at SRT

Christmas concert at Maple Ridge secondary

More performances in the park this Friday and Saturday

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Planning price tag for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford revealed

Developer says highrises would house 30,000, but Abbotsford mayor says project is in wrong place

Man accused of child sex crimes out on bail: Delta police

Gurchetan Singh Samra, 69, must stay away from — and not communicate with — anyone under 16 years old

1,300-signature petition for free menstrual products turned over to UFV president

‘Go with the flow’ campaign calls for all University of the Fraser Valley bathrooms to be stocked

Most Read