Those of you who have been regular readers of The Jar know that I speak often about and with great love for my parents. My mother taught me to read, and my father enabled a lifetime passion for the written word. Any blog with the subtitle about having "the heart of a 13 year old" is going to deal at some point with those people who were my heart when I was chronologically that age.
After a slow slide into Alzheimer's and dementia, my mother passed at the age of 74 in January of 2008, leaving my father, now 81, to soldier on for himself. If you want to cultivate a mental image for my dad, just picture latter-years George C. Scott in both appearance and temperament, and you won't be far off. He was a boxer in his halcyon high school days, and took pride over the years for his sheer physical strength. However, that disposition also was a tragic flaw when sickness paid a visit; he could be very convincing at fooling most that there was nothing wrong, but who knew what battles were being waged within that body.
On New Year's Eve, he complained of indigestion, and difficulty in breathing. He was suffering a massive heart attack, but went through the night and did not allow my only sibling. my ten-year older brother, to take him to the ER until 11:00 the next morning. The doctors are amazed that he is alive, given the amount of blockage that they have subsequently discovered in his heart (an issue that he, and they, knew was always going to demand attention, but with his diabetes, they were proceeding with caution). At present, one lung is filled with infection, the other with fluid, and once those conditions are dealt with, he will have the necessary bypass. But again, he is 81, and all such procedures are very, very dicey at that vulnerable age.
All of this is my way, Gentle Readers, of explaining that I may not be around these parts as much as I would like in the days, maybe weeks ahead. I'll still be posting, just without such great frequency, I expect. To relinquish posting entirely would not please my dad very much, who never wanted me to worry about him, and I think could never quite figure out how this strange younger son of his developed such a passion for music, art, theater and, yes, Horror. After all, he's a fighter...and he doesn't like losing, and turning away from The Jar right now (boy, that "Heart" in the title makes me feel a bit queasy) would be throwing in the towel.
Fight, Dad. Fight.