Don't panic! The guy in the pictures is not the wild-man lumberjack he appears to be. It's just my son D; we chopped firewood today. He's getting stronger and more muscular every month. We chopped for a good half-hour; he was still energetic but I had to go inside and wash down a couple Advil with my coffee. And just like they used to say of me, I can't believe how fast he's growing up. I am so proud of the man he is becoming, even if he is a hatchet man.
As my son grows older and into a man, my father-in-law grows older and into a child. His Alzheimer's is progressing and he is beginning to forget my children's names. The other day we received an emotional voice mail from him, asking us to please come visit this weekend. We have many things already planned, so M reluctantly called him back today to say we couldn't come this weekend, how about another? He didn't even remember inviting us!
Photo credit: NASA Langley Research Center
He is like a giant ship that leaves a spinning, swirling, vortex-riddled wake in his path. He is now unaware of the smaller watercraft that are rocked and jolted in the emotional turbulence that results from relationship with him. His ability to "rock my boat" makes me suspect that I am more influential than I realize in the lives of others. Are there tornadoes in my jet trails? Have my words hurt my wife (yes) or my children (yes) or my students (probably) or even my blog readers (as if there were any) lately?