I’ve mentioned my dad is sick. Well, let’s call dying in that he is clearly in the home stretch but is not imminent.

I have debating both internally and with people whose opinions I value about when / how / why to visit now instead of then. Then instead of later. Someday.

It was the eye rolling and hand flapping that came in the immediate aftermath of the words “possible heart attack” that sent me to orbitz for a same day plane ticket. Not because I thought they were wrong, or that I thought anybody was going to try to do something invasive but just because what this man, my father, is enduring WITHOUT A DAMN HEART ATTACK is enough.

So I am with him and mom, and I suspect that when I leave I will kiss him on the head and say that I will see him next month (the planned visit). He has packed up and put down his social graces, but he is still clearly himself, even if he is becoming the pocket sized version.

Still, I am in my hometown in the fall. My ears are cold but a sweater is too much. The leaves on the branches have only changed at the tips. The sky is perfect. The pumpkin stand that had the perfect pumpkins two years ago for Pumpkin Fest is loaded for bear. The hospital I volunteered at is doing the big raffle while my dad naps upstairs and a friend from LLV is down the hall.

I got a big smile when I walked in the door. Today he wants to sleep without people watching. So he will and I will be wistful.