Pop had a rough couple of days. And today we had to make that trek to the hospital to see his main Oncologist. The doctor had some blood tests run, and when the numbers came back, they were very encouraging. That seemed to be just what Pop needed to hear. His spirits lifted a lot.
We had a long ride home, and got back in the dark. When we went inside, I asked him if he wanted to eat anything. (he has gained 1 pound, incidentally) He said that he felt like having pancakes, so I whipped up a short stack for him.
The kitchen table is situated by a glass sliding door onto the yard. Now that the leaves are gone out there, you can see the highway off in the distance. Pop sat facing that door.
I left the room a minute, and when I came back, I was out of his sight, so he didn't know I'd returned. I stood watching him a minute.
It made me think, seeing this man with his plate of pancakes and a cup of coffee. He was just eating quietly and looking out the window. He had a simple look of contentment on his face as he ate. And it made me think.
You know, no matter what the timeframe might be, eventually there will come a day where Pop won't be around anymore. I think about the time he has, and occasionally can't help thinking that this might be the last time he does this or that. His world has become very small, and it all revolves around things like finding a good program on TV, or getting a solid night's sleep, or a blanket that's just warm enough, you know? The news comes on, then Leno follows, then maybe the pain medicine kicks in just the right way. And then perhaps he gets to sleep.
Trust me, this isn't some Hallmark movie going on here. There are those occasional head-butting bouts, and the irritations (or worse, like when he recently pulled a pot of boiling water over onto me). But we're like any other family, good days, bad days, ok days. It's just, well, the time is something that's not quite taken for granted as much lately.
And at the end of the day, those pancakes can be some pretty important things to Pop, especially if I warm the syrup just right.
These days, those pancakes are made just a little more carefully. And the syrup gets done right, you know?