zombie walk

31 10 2009


“Did you take your antibiotic this morning?”

-“What antibiotic?”

“Those ones that the pharmacy delivered yesterday?  You took two right when they came, then you have to take one a day for the next few days?  It’s called a Z-Pack?”

-“Well that doesn’t make any sense…there is only one left in the box. I can’t find them anywhere around here.  Is it the Tussin DM stuff?”

That phone conversation was yesterday morning.

Cue flashback…

We talked on Tuesday and all sounded well.  I forgot to call on Wednesday and by the time I remembered, she would have been in bed.  When she called me on Thursday to say she was back from the nail salon (something I won’t be doing when I’m almost 83 but then again you knew that…) she sounded absolutely awful.

At least twice a year for the last – oh say, twenty years or so – she gets a nasty bout of bronchitis spring and fall – about the time we have to change our clocks.  I called her doctor to see how we could handle this with me still here in the North on Donny Diva watch and the Mrs. 150 miles away hacking up a storm.

They decided to start her on a round of Zithromax and Tussin DM for the cough.  Standard procedure.  I’ve done the same cocktail myself many times.  I thought I was being soooo clever and had them call the Rx into a pharmacy down the road that delivers.  I get on the phone, talk to the tech, give her my credit card…no hassle…it will be delivered in an hour or so to the Mrs.’ house.  I am feeling oh-so-smug and smarty-pants to boot taking care of business from afar.

Another phone call after a couple of hours to confirm the delivery and all is well.  The nurse from her Dr.’s office had called and explained the dosage to the Mrs. who wrote it all down.  “Take two tablets on the first day and then one a day for tablets 2 through 5…then 1 teaspoon of Tussin every 6 hours.”  What’s not to love about that system?

Cue B-roll footage of elderly woman doing the zombie walk …

So where could those pills have disappeared to?  There was only one way to do this.  It was only fitting that I had a two hour drive in pouring rain and gale force winds again.  At least it wasn’t 2 feet of snow.  There was alot to be thankful for really.

Sure enough when I got there I found the box empty – save the one last blister packed pill marked “DAY 5”.  I checked her regular pill stash to see if she had changed her mind about putting that daily dose in with her regular pills so she didn’t have to worry about it.  “No – that’s not necessary,” she had responded when we were doing this over the phone, “I have it all written out.”  I’m kicking myself for not having insisted she do it MY way.

I checked the garbage and sure enough there were FIVE empty blister packs to prove that she had taken what was intended to be FOUR DAYS WORTH OF DOSAGE IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS!  “Oh that cough medicine really makes me loosey goosey if you know what I mean,” she giggled and disappeared into the bathroom as I grabbed my phone to speed dial the doctor’s office.  That explained it.  She had been taking the pills thinking they were the Tussin which barely had a teaspoon gone out of the bottle.

“Oh MY!…Can I put you on hold while I check with the Dr.?,” the nurse whispered.   When she came back on line, she explained that I was to start some Kaopectate and if it didn’t work, try Imodium.  No more antibiotics till Sunday. (There is only one pill left anyway!)  Since they were only 250mg and time released at that – we were barely at a megadose like the kind you can get in the hospital.  But the trots could certainly be a side effect.  I went for broke at this point and did the dose of Imodium.  How much could that hurt after all the “candy” she’d had?

I grabbed the fattest marker I could and started making signs…BIG PRINTING EXPLAINING THAT SHE HAD TO TAKE ONE TEASPOON OF COUGH MEDICINE AT 8 a.m. / 2 p.m. / 8 p.m., etc. etc.

Adding insult to injury – I remember that Saturday night we set the clocks back.  I didn’t want her up on step ladders changing her kitchen clock so I decided to do it early.  I’m so screwed at this point – what difference can it make that she’ll think it is an hour earlier than it really is all day Saturday?

What really has her concerned is how to pass out candy on Billy’s birthday without contaminating all the kids – then I remember…this day was a highlight of their year.  He always made it so fun.  He could have been selfish about his birthday but it was always about everyone else. It was as if he had invited the whole world to his party.   He never pouted that his day was “eclipsed” with so much hubbub.

“I don’t suppose Billy has much sense of what day it is in heaven, do you?”

“No I don’t suppose.”

That quiet little exchange before I took off like a bat out of hell headed back North, haunted me the rest of the way home.  It’s all a little sad to be alone and sick on such a special day. If I had to pick a costume for today, it would a floppy, straw-stuffed scarecrow…the kind that I could leave little bits of myself in each space I’m trying to fill.

banana fana fo fana

28 10 2009


Have you noticed that when you want to buy a certain kind of car suddenly all you see on the road is that particular model?  It is like our eyes are suddenly opened to something that was there all along but we weren’t noticing.  Thus, the burning bush.

Either this is a spectacularly good year for burning bushes or I am just seeing them for the first time in my life.  Because our front yard is still a mud pit begging for landscaping and I want at least one of those puppies planted in a certain spot, it seems every neighbor has them.  Last week we finally got the concrete work done on the front walk (city) along with the stairs that lead to our porch.  That had to happen before any of the landscaping could go in but I think we’re in trouble with timing now before the white stuff starts to fly. Then there is the little issue of money to pay for said beautification. I’m thinking that snow tires for my Fast would be a better investment given my weekly road trips to the Mrs.’ place.

Noticing all the burning bushes this fall got me thinking about the real burning bush where Moshe asked, “What kind of a God are you?” and got the answer, “I will be what I will be”.  Right…like THAT makes sense?!?  God introduces himself to Moshe with a verb…”to be”.  He is to be defined by what He does, how He acts, how He reacts, what actions He causes…not solely by what He’s called or what people imagine him to be.  His character lines up with his name.

It isn’t too often in English that we are aware of what people’s names actually mean.  Over the years I have made a point to remind my two spawn that their names have meanings that can and should bear some significance in their lives.  There should be some connect.

In our dining room there is a little plaque that reads It is what it is. I consider that the name for my house.  No pretense.  A place that I have noticed over the years people describe NOT in terms of its decor, color scheme or great furniture (seriously lacking on all counts)…but a place where that they instantly know it’s ok to curl their feet up on the couch and cover themselves with one of the many ratty old missionary closet quilts we have around.  I’d rather it be a place of refuge than refinement.

So exactly WHERE am I going with all of this?  I know Donny Diva’s real name.  He is NOT going to conform in any way, shape or form to our plans for what or when we think his birthday should be.

Therefore, on the 8th day past the second (and now obviously the correct) due date, the plans are as follows.  At 10:30 a.m. Shop Girl will be sitting at a salon getting her bangs cut.  At 2 p.m. I will take her YET AGAIN to the midwife’s office for another non-stress test and other fun I won’t mention here but now you know what I mean.  As soon as we can get out of there, we are going to meet up with some friends from LA that are on tour and will be in town playing a show.

At 8 p.m. one very preggers Shop Girl, Book Boy and myself will be blasting our eardrums out at a concert where back stage she will certainly set a different vibe than usual in the green room with her rocker friends. Some of these tour dogs backed her up when she played shows in LA.  They were her LA family.  Freshly made Spanish tortillas will be their post-show snack as they head to the next stop in PA…a tasty, homemade treat.

Donny Diva’s little ears first started hearing while Shop Girl was in the studio working on her album in June.  The kid digs sound boards, musicians, loud drums and studio monitors that could blast him into outer space.  Tomorrow night – we will comply and do our dead level best to give him an ambiance that he feels comfortable in.  “Can I get more dBs on the bass through the subwoofer please?”

If that doesn’t work – the weather man predicts thunderstorms late.  What more can we do?

donny diva

23 10 2009

tnytmsShop Girl took some props along to the hospital when she went to be induced the other day.  And Shop Girl packed up those same empty shoes and took them home again when the induction failed.  In 32 years the midwife says she’s never been confronted with a situation like this.

Someone is not ready to come out and fill the shoes that Best Boy and Mimi sent from LA.  Is the job too big?  Is it overwhelming?  Or like a temperamental star are you just not ready to come out of the trailer and show up on set?  Oh, we understand.  We know how to deal with “the talent”.

You will not be rushed.  You have dramatic pause.  You know how to play to your audience.  And we wait.

no more HGTV for you

19 10 2009

chipsWhat was I thinking?  During these months of hauling out junk from Billy’s basement, my guilty little pleasure has been wrestling the remote from the Mrs.’ hand and moving as far away from the Weather Channel and Fox News as I could.  Naturally, I’d land on HGTV.  She can watch all the Dr. Phil she wants when she is alone.  Truthfully, I have no idea what she spends her time watching when I’m not there.  She waited a long time to control her own remote and she can do as she pleases.

We would chat about the shows but I never really entertained the thought that she was taking in much information for her own personal use.  Last week, I walked into her house to find that she had decided that the mug rack on the kitchen wall was terribly outdated and no longer useful.  It was all taken down and she had rearranged some decorative plates to take over that space.  Nicely done, I might add.

On a rare trip to Kmart together a few months back, the Mrs. and I wandered through the bedding department and picked out a new bedspread.  With her full sized bed and bedroom furniture (given to her by her dad when she was still in high school) all back in her bedroom, it was time for a little pick-me-up.  I need to take down some balloon curtains she has had up since forever and replace them with something different.  She’s dreaming of a “soft dovey gray with blue undertones” for that room.  Maybe an early spring project for me will be getting some new paint up on those walls.

The long and short of this…I was delusional to think that the only thing I was doing there was cleaning out the basement.  I remember Billy being frustrated and vocal toward the end about her never ending project list.  It really isn’t much different than my list for our 100 plus year old Money Pit.  Truth be told, she couldn’t lift a finger around there in the last couple of years without him putting up a huge fuss about it so she stuffed it all down and waited.

I have opened Pandora’s Box.

On my current list of things to get accomplished in her space is spraying the basement walls with a bleach solution once a week for the next couple of weeks to try to put an end to the years of mold and mildew.  I realize though that I am like the Hoover Dam trying to hold back her rushing creative waters.  She wonders out loud what the re-cooped space would look like with a bright coat of paint on the walls.  Then we’ll get new shelving units for the walls…then…

I manage to control my voice to avert the guttural scream I feel building and tell her that first we’ll have to paint the new stair treads that Charlie & Co. replaced last Thursday.  Even before those three got damaged in the fun of the last months, she’d told me that she wanted to “spiff up” the stairs with new paint.  I have begged and begged her to not touch brushes till I am there for a few days.  Once I unleash that monster – there is no telling where we’ll end up.

Last week I took my shop vac along to start the process of cleaning the basement floor in a way that didn’t just re-locate all the cement dust left behind from all the jack hammering that went on.  I happened to look up at the ceiling of the basement only to see years and years of accumulated cobwebs and spider eggs that needed to find a new home.  She wanted to watch.  I was annoyed…until I remembered that young kids like watching adults do things that they can’t yet do.  I just needed to reverse the process in my mind and realize that she was watching NOT to be critical but with longing.  She wished I’d let her do the job but I didn’t want her craning her stenosis narrowed neck with arms over her head for about an hour.  It was a year ago this next week that she landed in the hospital for three days after a seemingly harmless trip to the dentist. Just having her head tilted back so the Dr. could see what he was doing, put her system in a nasty downward spiral for weeks and weeks.

But yesterday’s phone call just floored me.  “I was down in the basement and I know where the shower will go!” she excitedly exclaimed.  “EXCUSE ME?“, exploded the voice in my head just short of a rant of Tourettte’s.  Rationally and calmly, I agreed with her that it was an excellent idea and a good use of space but we might want to think about updating the bathroom on the first floor before we go there.  Built in 1958, there has been very little updating of the original bathroom with its gray plastic tiles and a nasty, carpeted floor which was THE update when I was in high school.  I’ve been secretly thinking about that space and even had a discussion with Charlie & Co. about a great Kohler tub and surround that he loves to install.

I felt Billy lose his cool.  The earth shook ever so slightly as he turned over in his grave.  Maybe there was a method to his madness keeping the basement wet all those years so he’d never have to tackle the next thing on the list.

As frustrated as I might get with all this,  she’s still on her own and I am supremely grateful.  We are lucky.  She is still mobile, thinking and dreaming.  She still gets more cleaning done on a weekly basis than I do in months.  It exhibits pride which signals a great sense self-awareness.  Any therapist would tell you that is a sure fire signal that some things are still working.  When she stops getting dressed in the morning because there is nothing to get dressed for – we’ll have a whole ‘nother set of issues to deal with.

So with punch list in hand…we face the winter months with projects to keep us busy.   She saw a new mail box she loved that was on sale so I picked that up along with the huge 4×4 post all waiting in the garage for when I can bamboozle some kind soul from her church to do an act of kindness for one of their widows.

And in my parallel universe, I need to clean out my basement so that I can have glass brick windows installed before the dead of winter.  When the estimator told me that they work from inside and outside, my heart sank.  I now HAVE to face my own demons to clear the way.  My goal this week is 10 bags of junk for the Salvation Army pick-up next Saturday.

Next, I’ll probably be hiring a painter to do my living room, entry, stairwell, upstairs hallway, kitchen, bathroom, etc. while I’m down at the Mrs.’ place painting the stairs, basement and bedroom for starters.  I have gone so far as to purchase my own Benjamin Moore color chip fans so that I don’t have to stand in the hardware store guessing at what I’m looking for.  This is serious business.

“Hello.  My name is Monkee and I’m a project-a-holic.”  Some addictions are hereditary.

to nest or not to nest

12 10 2009

brdFour months ago, while in LA working with Shop Girl, I snapped this picture of a beautifully painted four panel screen hidden in a corner of Evan’s loft/studio.  Four months ago.  Lots has happened since then – most notably Best Boy’s own flight to LA two months ago.

Empty nest.  What does that look like?  So far not what I had expected.  I have dreams of purging and organizing and getting my basement to look like Billy’s looks now.  But it’s only been a week or so since I could check THAT task off my list and I’m a little short in the energy department yet.  It will come – I can feel it building steam.  In the time I’ve had to this point, it means that I can occupy the couch whenever I want but rarely have control of the remote.  See, Best Boy got the Dr. a fat daddy plasma for Father’s Day a few years ago but until he left for LA, the Dr. never pushed for control of the remote.  Now he is sole remote control guy.  Trust me – that is OK by me – as long as I have my computer since anything I want to see can be caught on hulu.com.

It got a little dicey during the latter part of last week when something was up with the internet and our connection to the outside world came to a screeching halt.  It wasn’t pretty around here.  Being self-employed and working from home gets nasty when there is no way to use the computers. Gratefully the stars aligned on Saturday afternoon – a repair man worked his magic and we are back on line.

As the Dr. channel surfed between three different college football games and the President’s Cup golf tournament, I caught up with the blogs I usually follow.  One of my favorite’s is Sweet Juniper! -a lawyer who walked away from his profession about three years ago to become a SAHD (stay-at-home-dad).  His post on the 8th was a reflection of something I’ve spent most of my life thinking about.

I get facebook updates, emails and twitters from friends of mine who are busy doing things that I THOUGHT I would be involved in at this point of my life…but I’m not.  There are days when I can’t even follow some of the goings on because my psyche is too fragile and it gets to me.  I stay away until the waves of jealousy pass like a hot flash in the night.  I get a grip and remember who I am and what I’ve been given to do and NOT do in my lifetime.

As we sit here waiting for a phone call that will change our lives yet again with the start of another new generation, it’s good for me to stop and revisit what I would have done differently to get to where I am today.  And truthfully, the answer I come up with is nothing…I’d change nothing.  Shop Girl and I were having a discussion yesterday about all the places we’ve lived – all the rentals – all the begged and borrowed furniture – all the spaces we’ve called “home” and what a challenge it was to pretend to put down roots in each space.

What have I done in the last 25 plus years?  I’ve been a nester.  That’s been my job – my goal – my main purpose.  Keeping this family grounded enough to function when there has been little or no stability in the typical sense of the word.  Ours has been an unlikely adventure…one that I certainly didn’t foresee.

Nesting.  Where it all began was in a little rental down the street from where we presently live that I remember that strong primal urge to clean everything in sight 29 years ago just before giving birth to Best Boy.  That was probably the last time in my life I really cleaned like that. Now, it’s Shop Girl’s turn as she awaits whatever day is going to be the Awaited One’s birthday.

So if the nesting instinct is what rages through a woman’s just before birth, what happens at the other end of that maternal timeline when things slow down?  What’s the opposite of nesting?

For some  it is when they downsize – buy that condo – travel the world…do what they want to do after years of being tethered.  Others just re-invent themselves and grandparenting becomes the new norm.  There are NO retirement plans here – there is no pension in the Dr.’s line of work so we’ll just keep doing what we’ve been doing till we drop or get kicked to the curb.  For now, mine looks like a mix of tending to the Mrs.’ nest a while longer, purging mine of years of accumulated journey junk and beginning the new twist of grandparenting.  Best Boy and Mimi give me the excuse of being THAT grandmother who jet-sets to LA whenever she can.  There is already more studio time booked in late January…baby in tow…to finish up Shop Girl’s album.

I won’t be interviewed on the Today’s show any time soon.  There are no book tours planned.  I’ll not be in your neighborhood bookstore doing any readings.  Terry Gross won’t be asking me to sit in for her while she’s away.  Nope – none of that.  My life is extremely rich just as it is.  I am fulfilled being just who I am.  I will just keep my feathers from being ruffled and do what is at hand and see where this portion of the migratory flight plan leads me.

i ♥ charlie watson

6 10 2009

mkeeThat’s right boys and girls…monkee’s in love.  Who knew?  It was a cosmic encounter.

I think it was last fall when a group of volunteers from the Mrs.’ church came out to do some yard work.  The guy heading up the crew who happens to be a  general contractor, stepped inside the house for some instruction when he narrowed his eyes, looked at me and whispered, “I smell mold”.  “Ya think!” was my only response.  Throwing caution to the wind – I showed him the basement.

It was his suggestion to call the company out of Chicago that specializes in wet basements – like the one we were standing in.  So the ticking of the clock began soon after as I got the estimate and we nailed down a date – well, actually two dates – since I had to change it once for the Nashville trip.

The worst part for me – or maybe better said – the best part was that everything had to be cleared away from the walls about four feet so that they could dig a channel around the perimeter of the whole house.  So the clearing began and you know that whole story or I would have had nothing to blog about in the last many months.  I went to my new go-to-guy with another question.  I was going to need a plumber to move some things around down there to make room…washer, dryer, maybe the hot water heater, well and softener and then what to do about a 500 ton concrete double utility sink (yes, I exaggerate)?  He gave me the name of the only guy he’d trust with the job – a retired union plumber named Charlie Watson.

I didn’t want to call him till I was sure I was done with clearing everything out that I could and right before the Chicago group was coming to do the job.  But I really secretly wondered if I was going to make all the deadlines.  The  major work was scheduled last Tuesday and Wednesday…the junk haulers came the Friday before that – leaving me Monday to have the plumbing work done.  I had put off calling over the weekend.  I was playing Russian roulette with this whole carefully orchestrated timeline.

As I drove down on Monday -a week ago – it was 8:15 a.m. and I decided to call to see if I could touch base with this guy.  What on earth made me wait till the last minute to set up one of the most crucial pieces of this puzzle?  Cosmic juju.  He answered…I connected the dots on how I’d gotten his name – he understood what I needed and was just about to leave his house to do another job and would be by in the afternoon to take a look see.  I ended the call and started screaming for joy right there in my car.  That had been too close a call.  Thank you Baby Jesus.

Yikes!  What a guy!  Everyone should have a retired union plumber in their back pocket!  I hadn’t even really decided what to do about that utility tub till he said they’d (he and some other geezer friend he conned into an afternoon in the Mrs.’ basement) break it up and haul it out…bucket by bucket.  Anyway, they worked for a couple of hours and had moved and unhooked all the things I needed moved and unhooked.  While chatting, he mentioned that he’d just been doing some work for the son of a retired school teacher blah blah blah – and who’d a thunk it…it happened to be my driver’s ed teacher from summer school a long long long time ago who’s daughter and son-in-law were aslo classmates of mine in high school.  What a coinkidink.

Charlie asked about the work that was going to be done the following day and I explained it best I could and he wondered out loud if it would be done right or not.  My confidence was shaken.  But at that point there was no turning back so we forged ahead and the work was done.  The cement had to cure for 3 days before the washer etc. could be moved back so Charlie and I arranged to wait the extra days over last weekend and do his follow-up work on Monday of this week.

I got down there just an hour before he was scheduled to show so that I had time to do the Mrs.’ grocery shopping (and we are stocking the larder in such a way so that she won’t be high and dry when I’m finally called on to spend hours in a delivery room doing my special “You Go Baby” dance).  Part of that shopping meant bags of salt for the water softener.  The dreaded 40 lb. bags…

They were still in the back of my car with the hatchback still gaping open as I was in no hurry to dislocate my shoulders so early in the day by moving them to the basement.  Charlie and co. (a younger guy this time) decended into the abyss with their tools, new fiberglass utility tub, etc. and said that if I’d go back to the store and buy 6 more bags they’d haul it to the basement for me too.  WHAT?!?!?!!?  IS IT CHRISTMAS????

As soon as Charlie saw the basement he pronounced it, “One hell of a good job!”  All the stars aligned – I officially ♥’d Charlie Watson right there on the spot.  “I couldn’t have done this good of a job, ” said he.  It was all I needed to hear.  We still have to wait for the Flood to see if it works – but suddenly, I can sleep at night.

wltnkBut Charlie didn’t stop there.  He noticed three treads on the basement stairs that had recently taken a hit or two between moving out old refrigerators etc. that suddenly needed to be added to the never ending list of repairs.  So I asked about a carpenter…”We can do THAT…” like I was talkin’ some kinda crazy talk.

Then he noticed this sweet tank about to blow…it has to do with the well.  Guess what?  They make them in fiberglass now.  He asked when that had been changed last.  “Charlie…,” I said, “…from the looks of it, maybe never?!?”  Billy’s favorite adage “if it ain’t broke, why fix it?” is having to step aside for the new regime.

Charlie’s on speed dial.

third coast

1 10 2009


As I drove back down here to the Mrs.’ place early on Monday morning, the car felt like it was a ping pong ball in a lotto cage.  When we lived in Spain it was hard to explain to people that the Great Lakes were more like little oceans than placid lakes.  Gales at this time of year, mostly made famous by Gordon Lightfoot, are no small thing.  Winds out of the west made for some fun as I firmly grasped at 10 and 2 trying to keep my small black Fast from being lifted like a fly.  There were storms inside my head at the same time.

Last Friday morning the big box truck snugged up close to the breezeway kept the embarrassment to a minimum.  There were old refrigerators with the bottoms rusted out to be hauled.  Lots of odds and ends I couldn’t drag up the stairs myself.  So I hired someone to do that part.  It wasn’t like we had had to look at a dumpster filling up for months on end like a red flashing light for the neighbors to see our dirty little secret.  No.  Under the cloak of darkness, week after week, bag after bag I made stuff disappear.  This job was as much about preserving the Mrs.’ dignity as it was cleaning out the basement.  In two hours time, two guys filled that truck with the last of the big stuff.

Why did Billy keep so many little bottles…boxes…bags filled with gaskets…gadgets…gunk?  To be honest, there have been many moments that I have been down right angry over the whole mess.  None of us who are parents will escape this voyage…our children will look at the choices we have made and ask why.  They will do things differently, be motivated by different passions, spend their money when and where they please and maybe not give two hoots about the things that have sentimental value to us.

Billy was by no means a stingy man but one marked by extreme generosity. I don’t think he was a compulsive horder demonized by OCD.  He was probably more typical of his generation than most people are willing to admit.  Born seven years before Black Tuesday then raised during leaner years than most of us have ever had to endure, it just became part of his nature.

More than once in the last week, I’ve closed my eyes only to be haunted by things I’ve touched.  Like his obsession to keep in the event of need – I got paralyzed by wanting to give perfectly good junk that I don’t need, a new recycled – repurposed life outside of the landfill.  Landfills…Landslide…

Can I sail thru the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

The technical work in the basement is done.  We now have to wait for the rainy season to see if it gives the promised results.  There are a few more weeks of work till it is all said and done.  The concrete is curing.  Monday a new utility tub will be set – washer / dryer reconnected.  Then I’ll move on to a three week process of spraying the walls with a bleach solution to kill off the end of the mold.  We hope.  Down the road – we can even dream of slapping some masonry paint up.  Maybe that will be my winter project.  Or maybe spring.

Another season…the Mrs. had me help her get all the decorations up for the fall.  October was always a special month – given that Billy’s birthday was on Halloween.  The neighbor from across the street called to say that she is enjoying the lights and thanked me for helping the Mrs. keep up with things that are important to her.

So I leave you with Stevie singing that tune…and feel myself on a typical let down slide.  But not for long.  Just till the Awaited One decides it is time to shake things up again.

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?

Truth be told – I’d do this all again if I had to.  He was my Dad and he was worth it.