A couple of people listened to my father’s voice over here and asked if my voice sounds like his did.
I said I didn’t think so and promptly forgot to ask family members if they thought we sounded alike.
If I had to guess they would say we use many of the same expressions and gestures but our voices are distinct. It is always possible I am wrong, but I don’t recall anyone saying anything ever before.
I suppose the question is partly to blame for why I got distracted during the movie today and found myself thinking about dad and I.
There was a moment during my first July visit during which we did our usual back and forth about work and I said I had an idea for how to become a millionaire in a short time.
“I am going to write a book about the Jewish Food of Texas and include a section about how I brought good bagels to the Metroplex.”
The Jewish Food Of Texas
“Is there anywhere else to eat beside that deli you took me to?”
“I thought the Corned Beef at Carshon’s was alright but I haven’t tried anything else there. Been to a couple of other places and haven’t found anything that I thought was better than Deli News. Definitely haven’t found a place where I really liked the bagels.
Got lots of barbecue and meat options, but our kind of comfort food is limited. Or maybe I am still too new.”
Dad nodded his head and fell asleep.
I didn’t take it personally as it happened quite a bit around the end and no one was immune to it.
Though it is only a short time ago I didn’t realize how quickly it would feel like a lifetime ago or how much I would want to ask him if he remembered if it has to get worse before it gets better.
“If you can figure out a way to hang out for another five or seven years I think I’ll have some pretty cool stuff to share with you.”
“Yeah. I think I got a couple of things that are going to pan out but it is going to take a bit. Not sure if it will be before the kids are out of the house or not. Hard to believe I can even picture that.”
“It happens faster than you can imagine. You may not wait for it as long as you think you will.”
“I don’t know dad. Sometimes I think I can wait forever and sometimes I get scared at the idea. So much can change.”
“Josh, do what you need to do.”
Different Kinds Of Ache
Another Saturday night rolls around and I have another conversation with one of the guys about different kinds of ache.
We share work and family stories and talk about the future.
Sometimes we take long pauses and ask each other if retirement is a pipe dream or a reality. I tell him I am determined to live at least a few of my dreams and retirement is one of them.
The question isn’t will I be able to but when.
When is predicated in part by money as are most retirement conversations but I won’t let fear of not having enough drive me into working forever.
There are compromises on some things that will help facilitate making it happen, like not getting divorced three or four times.
We both laugh at that and wonder out loud how some people we know have put themselves in a position where a fourth or fifth is possible.
But we als0 know several contemporaries who were widowed and maybe there is a sense of gratitude and relief that we have been lucky enough not to deal with that.
Exercise and diet are important but so are good genes and that is something we have no control over.
My uncle died at 49, a few months short of 49.5. I’m fairly certain I have now lived as long as he did and if things go the right way I’ll pass him.
Sometimes I “Google” myself to see what comes up and occasionally I am surprised but probably less surprised than by some of the stuff I found tied to my dad.
I click on the links and check them out, wondering if I am going to discover anything truly interesting.
We all have our secrets but the nature of them vary from person to person. Some are mundane and boring and some are far more exciting.
Some relatives shared stories with me over the years about experiences they had that made me raise my eyebrows and wonder.
Nothing bad, but stuff that reminded me that we are all people and most of us have more depth to us than many are aware of.
In a digital age I sometimes wonder what will happen after we pass on. Will our families gain access to all digital files and read/see all we have done or will those digital files sit unopened on a server somewhere.
Will my grandkids one day come across 10,000 emails I wrote about politics, religion and cooking and wonder if they knew everything or just parts?
When they come across the back and forth about used cars I inquired about buying or trips I looked into taking will that be a surprise or fit the man they knew?
It is hard to say.
I know who I am today but 35 years from now if I live that long, there ought to a lot more to show and tell, assuming I am a show and tell guy.
Maybe 35 years now the grandkids will know me as the King of Jewish Food of Texas or maybe they’ll talk about the grandfather that moved to Miami/Jerusalem/Bora Bora or Kalamazoo.
Ok, I think I know. I think I know many things but since I have control of very little the best I can do is say I think I know and that only time will tell.
Meanwhile I have to run and see if it is stopped raining. I may go for another walk.