Today began much like any other day when I visit my 92 year old parents. When I arrived it was 11:30 AM and Dad and Mom were sitting out in front of the house enjoying the beautiful weather. They were in a shady spot with a view of the street. Mom was watching crows swoop about and seemed to be enjoying being outside, as was Dad.
In the flap attached to Dad's walker was the Sunday NY Times.
He said, "Here's the Sunday paper I saved for you. But, let me see that one section (the Op/Ed). I want to read you something."
There was a short piece entitled "Intolerable Rise in Soldier Suicides" and Dad brought it to my attention, focusing on a quote made by a general at Fort Campbell, Kentucky as he addressed the military corps in residence, about the crisis of soldiers committing suicide. The general pleaded with his audience, "Don't take away your tomorrow."
This quote really caught Dad's attention, spoke to him in some way. He mentioned those five words again several minutes later. I wondered why he was so taken by this article as he rarely, these days, finds something in the newspaper worthy of mentioning to me or anyone else.
I wasn't there long; lunch was ready and I headed home. But, I was struck by how "on the ball" my Dad was today. Impressed. That's the word I'd use to describe how I felt about our conversation(s) today. Amidst the requests for more chocolate (Hershey's miniatures), our discussion of his shifting taste in beer (from Heineken to oh, something like Budweiser), and his comment about my white teeth (thanks Dad!), his interest in this Op/Ed piece and the quote in particular made my day.
"Don't take away your tomorrow". I'll remember that, Dad. Thank you.