after a 200 lb piece of metal fell on his head, narrowly missing crushing his brain, he spent 6 weeks in intensive care, and came out of the hospital an old man. he sold the trucks, and the business, shortly thereafter.
today he told me he and my stepmum are considering moving to a seniors' residence. and he thought maybe he should get a cell phone so he could keep in touch with her when he's out running errands, getting groceries and such like. she doesn't go out anymore. she's not admitting it to anyone, but she's dying of lung cancer. despite a problem with double vision, from the accident 11 years ago, and the irretrievable loss in strength and vitality suffered then, he's still a very independent man. this was a very big thing, admitting that keeping up the house and yard are getting to be too much for him..... and admitting that they might need a lifeline... the cell phone....
so this afternoon, my youngest son, one of the family technokids, and i picked Dad up a cell phone. we programmed all the family numbers into it, and showed him how to use it. in his big, calloused, blue-collar hands, the phone looked like a toy. his fingers are so big and square there was no way he could punch those little bitty numbers to dial out, so programming the numbers in wasn't so much a convenience as a necessity. and this man who has been my pillar of support for 51 years felt awkward and incompetent with the silly little thing, but he was determined to master it. because it's a way for him to know the obstinate, and fiercely independent woman he has loved for 48 years is as safe as he can keep her without humiliating her.
when i was a little girl, my dad was my hero. today i understood that he still is.