Sunday I didn't see Dad but I saw his car parked at his daily diner when I was coming home from church. I try to visit him frequently, cause I know he's lonely. And cause he's my dad. He's what I've got. Usually he'll meet me either before or after singing for dinner on Mondays. But it's a standing arrangement that he and I will not feel obligated to go. No guilt no hard feelings. He didn't make it last week because he was sick. And this Monday he didn't show either. No worries...yet. Called him on Tuesday, but didn't leave a message. Didn't get a hold of him.
Called him Wednesday morning and left a message. By noon I hadn't heard back and now I was worried. If you know my dad, he has a way of not wanting to bother anyone. So, let's say he's having a heart attack or just totaled his car--he isn't likely to want to bother anyone. At one I hadn't heard anything from him. I called his daily diner and they hadn't seen him since Sunday either. Ugh. I finished things up at work to head to his house. I get in my car and Brad Paisley's "When I Get Where I'm Going" is playing. Oh crap. Now I'm having a real serious conversation with God. Now listen here Buddy, thanks for the signs and everything, let's just hope I'm a little paranoid right now. I drove away from work thinking rationally about where he could be. I was ok. Calm.
By the time I'm turning down his road 20 minutes later, I'm a mess crying, trying to prepare myself to find him dead in his house. He's getting older and he's not in the best of health. I'm so far gone emotionally I'm already debating with myself if I call 911 first or call Hubby? The evolution of these thoughts are capsizing my mind. It's not that far-fetched of an idea, but these are the things that I deal with. Anti-depressants are now my friends. So I pull into the driveway. No car. This is good...and bad. I check his house, he's not there, and all looks fine. But that means he could be ANYWHERE. Ok. Breathe deep. At least I didn't find him dead. I go to my house and furiously clean it to keep busy and do to something constructive with my time. At 4 I call again. No answer. My dad does carry a cell phone, but always has it off. (He's the type doesn't have a computer, barely has a microwave, barely has VCR...) He only uses the cell on rare occasions for out going calls. Breathe Meg, breathe. Breathing is good.
I pick up the girls from their afternoon program and we head back to Dad's. Oh thank the Lord. His car is there, I get out and RUN into the house. He's there, a little disheveled looking, tired, and breathing. I unload all my worries on him, gently. He looks at me and says, "Aww Honey, you don't have to worry. You don't need to keep tabs on me. I know how busy you are." This is where my little Come to Jesus talk comes in..."Let me break it down for you...Let me remind you: you are my only parent left, you are not a bother, you are my father. If nothing else, EXPECT me to keep tabs on you and care how you are. You are loved and I would be lost without you. "
This morning he calls me to tell me he is fine and that he just got back from his daily diner and he said as soon as he walked through the door there, they were ALL OVER him shaking their fingers at him and telling him he was in TROUBLE (based on my call to them yesterday looking for him.) They really read him the riot act! Love it. Love the small town . These are the same great ladies who refuse to give Dad potatoes with his breakfast after his heart attack a few years ago. Even if he orders it, they nod and write down cantaloupe. HA!