30 April 2014
“I just don’t feel right” My dad says to me. I know he doesn’t feel right, he stupidly got old and unlike most of my family he has managed to stay alive until the age of 82, I say ‘stupidly’ got old as that’s what being old is…a bloody stupid yet amazing thing.
We start decaying the minute we are born, we are basically human croissants and we all have a shelf life, I myself look like I am slowly defrosting, I can see it in the mirror.
“Those neighbours killed my cat” he splutters. “Dad it was their cat and he got old and sick, he just was a constant visitor and liked your carpet to rub his back on” I remind him.
“Well he was my friend as well and now he is dead” Dad says as he gets out his fresh cotton hankie to rub his nose. My dad doesn’t do ‘paper hankies’ they are for stupid people and ignorant folk that probably kill cats that like visiting my dad.
Dad has his own funny way of doing things and I have realised that as his ‘carer’ and daughter, I have to not change those things. He will for example never stop collecting dead batteries, pens and junk mail and stuffing them in drawers. They are ‘his’ drawers and he has ever right to stuff them with dud light bulbs and tiny screws that I have no idea where they originated from. I suspect the tiny wee screws come from the broken spectacles he collects or they belong to the tiny people who live under the stairs and are waiting to head back to Lilliput as soon as they get them back.
I have no idea why he needs to rip off the bit of red tape I have secured to his remote control to remind him where the volume buttons are, but I know he likes to call me five times a day that he can’t work his TV.
His penchant for snipping the cuffs of all his socks as they “dig into my ankles”, drives me insane, he cannot be convinced of the fact that Lycra exists and he doesn’t have swollen of fat ankles!
So he now has 40 pairs of baggy ankle socks that look tatty.
My father has a collection of fancy baseball hats that would rival 50 cent or Jay Z and refuses to throw any of them out. One of his favourites is a Compton hat that has basically a Los Angeles gang slogan on it, he loves that one the most. He refuses to wear old man ‘bunnets’ like other old men, not for him the tartan checked flat cap, he prefers his gang totting rap gangsta hat to head to the doctors for his blood works to get checked. He likes a dapper waistcoat and refuses to take it off even in blistering heat.
He still makes a face when the Germans and Japanese are mentioned, having lost one brother in WWII and another brother who spent many years in a Japanese POW camp, he doesn’t forget these things easily. Yet has a deep hatred of racism and shouts at the UKIP party when they grace his TV screen. Then he tries desperately to turn the volume down and calls me to ‘fix his telly’ when he can’t figure it out.
My dad has a story about being an evacuee during WWII and it is utterly heart wrenching and makes me proud of the Granny that raised him as she basically rescued him from an evil farmer. Every day when I see him, he has a new story to tell me and I will never stop being amazed at his sparky spirit.
“So dad tell me why you don’t feel right?” I asked him.
He looked at me and said “I think my socks are too tight, can you get me the scissor box out of the drawer so I can snip the ankle cuffs off?”
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