Wednesday, November 4, 2009
All Saints Day
We took the overnight train out to see Opa this weekend. He's doing well. He cooks for himself and does the laundry now. He does everything of course. He has to. Anette even went farther and said she thinks that now that Oma is gone, Opa wanted to demonstrate to all of the family this weekend that he can take care of himself. Maybe then people will leave him alone.
It's easy to believe that an old man who was married to his wife for more than fifty years must be lost without her. It must be tempting to try to take care of him. But aside from a little assistance with things here and there, I wouldn't want to be managed like that. And as I watched Josef this weekend--baking bread and fixing small things things around the house--he looked like a grown-ass man who can manage just fine, thank you.
Of course it must be disorienting, and lonely, to be without your woman, after half a century together.
But another part of me thinks Anette's father has begun a new life. He might be 82, but that doesn't mean he can't learn a few new tricks. Maybe he even enjoys making his own rules, having a place of his own and the time to think about himself and his life.
Mind you, if I think about my own future, I'd prefer to just stay with Anette forever.