byDuncan L. Dieterly
“Now dad, I have to work late tonight so there is an extra ham sandwich in the fridge for your dinner. I made your favorite green jello, the kind you love. Oh, there is a pitcher of freshice tea. The salad is made, and in the red Tupperware bowl, just add the special salad dressingyou use. I will be home no later than eight, and then we can talk.”“Don’t worry. I will be fine. I can take care of myself, yeah know!” The stooped whitehaired man sitting at the kitchen table snapped at her.“Well just take all of your medicine - hear me now, all of it and
over exertyourself at the fitness center. It’s only been two years since your open heart surgery, and youstill have some work to do to get back up to speed.”“Yes, yes I understand! Not too hard, got it.”She swallowed her coffee and rushed about the modest apartment gathering her things.Satisfied she was ready, asked, “Do you want me to drop you off?”“No sweetheart, the walk over is part of my warm up. I will be fine, like always.” Shethought,
Sure that is how this all started when I got a surprise call from the emergency roomthat you had a stroke
. “Ok, see yeah.” She bent over quickly kissing him on his stubbly cheek.He offhandedly waved her out of the door.She left. The old man sighed, relaxing now that his beloved whirling dervish had gone.He leisurely finished nibbling at his dry toast, then empted the glass of skimmed milk. Carefullyhe swept the tabletop with his deeply veined hand, tossed the crumbs in the garbage can, andthen placed the utensils in the dishwasher. He checked the area to make sure it was clean andneat.
There, it is perfect, like I had never existed.
He went to his bedroom, returning with his faded blue work-out bag and left. It was onlya few easy blocks to his fancy modern fitness center. The day was bright and warm. He strodewith some pleasure, thinking of his life and how slow and boring it had become since his heartattack. The attack, unfortunately made all the difference. It forced him to live with his daughter,