Sunday, November 2, 2008

Paternal Roles

Dad tried on several roles after Mother died. He invented a few things, like paper sandals to wear indoors, and he wrote a story about going to heaven after he died and reuniting with his parents, who assured him he had been a good son. He also tried his hand at being the beneficent paterfamilias, mailing Husband a totally unappreciated list of procedures to follow when buying a new car and giving Mother's elderly cousin totally unappreciated advice on how to handle her personal relationships.

I wish I had been more accepting of his geriatric foibles, but they just irritated me. He kept repeating the same stories over and over, as if on a recording. He embarrassed me by discussing personal matters in a carrying voice in public places. And when I tried to do nice things for him, like tote a huge pumpkin into his room at the retirement residence and carve it into a jack-o-lantern, he sneered.

Sometimes he made me very angry. All I wanted him to do was to be like he used to be, before he grew old.

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