The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

2 June 2006

The truth at seventy-nine

Dear Old Dad kicks off his 80th year today.

And there is reason to think it may be one of the more difficult years he's had to face, what with the general dissolution we all suffer as we get older — even I'm starting to notice it, and if there's anything I hate, it's reminders of my mortality — and his being tethered to that damned oxygen tank, the inevitable result of financing R. J. Reynolds' expansion, 70 mm at a time, thirty times a day.

Then again, reminders of his mortality I hate even more than reminders of my own. And I'd like to persuade myself that it's good old-fashioned self-interest: longevity does not exactly run in this family, and I'm screwy enough to believe at some way-below-consciousness level that the longer he goes on, the longer I go on. (Which obviously can't be true, since only three of the five children survive, but this is not the sort of notion that is affected by mere facts.)

Still: just one more year. Just one. And after that, let's hope for one more, and pray that we're not pressing our luck.

Posted at 6:21 AM to General Disinterest


my mother financed vacations for tobacco. I only wish she were around to celebrate her 80th later this week.

My best wishes to you and your father.

Posted by: Duke at 6:54 AM on 2 June 2006

One day at at time, my friend.

Posted by: Dan at 8:53 AM on 2 June 2006

Your dad and my granddaughter share today. She is one.

Posted by: unimpressed at 3:30 PM on 2 June 2006

heck, I'm impressed I made it this far. So, every day I wake up I just count as a bonus. :)

Posted by: Joe at 3:48 PM on 2 June 2006

I'm hoping that not becoming a smoker will work in my favor -- especially given that I seem to come from fairly long-lived stock on my father's side. He lived to be 81 despite COPD; his father made it to 78 despite stomach cancer. His mother lived to be a healthy 93.

Dad's grandfather "only" made it to 74, but that old fellow's dad died in 1920 at the age of 84 -- while working in his garden. And he had a grandfather that was still active in managing his own affairs in his 70s -- in the 1830s.

Then again, on my mother's side her father and two siblings died suddenly of heart attacks, yet Mom's operating-table heart attack didn't slow her down near as much as losing her leg to complications of long-unregulated diabetes, and even then she flew unaccompanied to Fairbanks to spend two weeks with Wifey-ki-yay and me. She made it to 75, and her surviving sister (a lupus patient) is 77.

Posted by: McGehee at 1:38 PM on 3 June 2006

And he had a grandfather...

"He" being the ancestor who died at 84 in 1920.

Posted by: McGehee at 1:39 PM on 3 June 2006