We're taking him out for dinner tonight. To McGrath's Fish House, which is your basic strip mall chain restaurant. The thing is, they serve fish & chips. This is my dad's dream meal. Total comfort food. Growing up in Vancouver B.C. in the 1930's, he'd get his fish and chips wrapped in newspaper and doused in vinegar. He has very specific ideas about what makes good fish & chips. Really crappy, frozen types obviously offend him, but so do upscale gourmet types. A few months ago my sister took him out for lunch here--his first meal out in a long time--and he loved it. So we're repeating the experiment for his birthday dinner.
We had a party for him last weekend. Just family and some of his closest (um, and still living) friends. My sister and I both took pictures. What I noticed when I saw the pictures is a) he still looks his best in blue and b) he is smiling all the way to his eyes for the first time in a long time. He's physically pretty weak right now, and every hiccup in his health makes me wonder if it's the beginning of the end. But I think I'd feel better about him dying now, when he is taking some pleasure in life again, than if he'd died last year, when he was feeling suicidal. It sounds backwards, but I'd rather have him remember joy before he leaves this world.
Happy Birthday, Daddy. We love you.
(And on a completely unrelated side note, we are so glad we are not the guy out in the pouring rain pushing an enormous lawnmower around the soggy common area. Sheesh.)