When I was growing up he was the provider, the math tutor, the politico, the car fixer, the tickle monster (not in that order), the catechist, the oceanographer, the spider killer, the Nancy Drew reader, the driving instructor, the mailbox replacer (long story), the handyman, and most importantly, just Dad. He has always been this larger than life figure. He has always been my moral compass...because ya know, if Dad thinks it is wrong, it really is wrong, and if Dad thinks it is okay, then you are on the right track. My siblings and I all tend to get Dad's read on something if we need help making a decision.
My dad is still all of those things...and lots more. He is getting ready to retire at a very young 70. For some reason, this has been giving me a ton of anxiety and it actually took me nearly a month to figure out why. Of course I think he needs this time - it is their time - his and my mom's - to go and do what they want. See things, visit people, run around and have some fun.
My dad's dad retired, and from what I can remember, soon had a stroke, and wasn't able to do much. He died when I was just five years old, and I have more impressions of him than actual memories. Probably because he really didn't seem to be able to do much after he had the stroke.
My mom's dad retired, built a house, then had a stroke and died. It was longer than that, I know...but that's how it felt. So, I guess I feel like my dad retiring is so, so scary. I want him to be this young, energetic guy forever. Can we please just keep him like this forever?