Missing the milestones


My dad would have turned 85 on Monday. It’s been several years now since his death, and the milestones are starting to become less likely to imagine.

My father has one sister who has lived into her 80s, but most of his family died in their 70s or younger. His immediate family survived the brutalities of WWII so they’re a hardy bunch for sure. Dad made it to 79, and was just 4 months shy of his 80th birthday.

But it’s difficult to imagine my dad at 85. A smoker since his teens, who was diagnosed with COPD and emphysema, those conditions would likely have taken a great toll on him by now, and perhaps he’d be tied to an oxygen machine. He definitely would have hated that. And would he have become so frail as to need a wheelchair? That’s another thing he would’ve loathed. The man loved to walk in a long, fast, striding gait. This was a major problem when he developed dementia, because of his tendency to wander.

So all in all, I’m at peace with the fact that Dad’s not around to be an octogenarian. If I’ve learned anything over the last several years, life isn’t about reaching a certain age but the quality of your day-to-day living.

Since Dad’s birthday is close to Easter this year, I thought it was appropriate to include the one Easter photo I have of us together.



Filed under Memories

2 responses to “Missing the milestones

  1. That is a great picture of you two. My mom smoked for 60 years. She continued to smoke even after being diagnosed with emphysema and COPD. She FINALLY quit a year ago. She is tied to an oxygen machine now and she’s 77. I’m at the other end of the spectrum where my mom is fortunate to have her wits about her yet. In fact, she finally seems to be growing mentally as a person. Unfortunately, it took illness to do it.

    On an unrelated note, since my mom moved to senior living, I inherited all of her stored away photos. You may have seen some on one of my blog posts. That old photo you posted is in good shape. So many of ours are faded. I really need to get them digitized before they fade completely away. Have you digitized yours?

    Thank you for sharing this. I know your dad is proud and watching over you. He was a handsome man. 🙂

    • Smoking is so tough to quit. My father got a nicotine patch at the memory care center but still would ask for a cigarette sometimes out of habit. Most of my childhood photos were of the Polaroid variety, it was all the rage then. They tend to yellow over time. I have scanned in a good majority and saved them both “in the cloud” with Google Photos and on an external hard drive.
      And yes, Dad was a dark, handsome Irishman!

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