He's so sweet.
"Is that you, Kitty-Kat?", he asks when I call him on the phone.
We chat about this or that. He reviews with me his list of ritual recitations and the Exxon stock quote. I often beat him out by reporting the close for the day which I've extracted from the internet. I ask if he's doing OK and he generally admits that yes, he is.
Today I apologized for not being able to get up to visit; the "bad weather, Dad", I say.
"I understand. I'm just worried about Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to coming to your house; the weather is so bad."
He really is excited about coming for dinner. It has been 4 years since he's been to our house for the big feast. Because we weren't unable to get Mom up the 10 steps into our home after she broke her hip, we could never have them over for Thanksgiving Dinner or Christmas Dinner. This year, it's just Dad and the new deck in our backyard and the bank of Leyland cypress evergreens we planted two summers ago on the south side of the yard. My but it's been a long time since he was in my home.
At the end of our conversation as we say our goodbyes, I say, "I love you, Dad."
Then, he says what my Mom always said to me, "I love you too. Good Night, Darlin'"
Darlin'...she always called me Darlin'.