I KNOW EVERYONE SAYS THIS, BUT MY DAD IS THE BEST. Impatient, funny, smart, General Tso’s chicken-loving, practical and fiercely loyal, he seems way younger than his 85 years. The Korean War made a disabled veteran of him, and for decades you would never have known, until one day he decided it was rewarding to wear his DAV ball cap or jacket and get knowing nods from others who have been to hell and back.
When I was in high school, I woke up one night to my dad standing in my bedroom, gun at his side, perilously close to pointing it at my boyfriend, who had sneaked through our backyard to duct tape his class ring to the outside of my bedroom window. It ended without shots, after a string of profanities from both guys, and Dad’s stern commandment to park in the driveway next time so he wouldn’t mistake him for a burglar.
The perennial prankster recently told my son about the time he was suspended from Crafton High School for driving his car down the hallway after the principal told him he wasn’t to drive to school anymore.
A dead ringer for Charles Bronson in his younger days, Dad has galloped into old age more rapidly lately. It pains me to see him with head-to-toe bruises from blood thinners and taking what seems like ages to get from his recliner to the bathroom. The body can only do so much; but we have every bit of his mind, and for that we are lucky.
I see him struggle with the passage of time. “All my friends are dead,” he says, with a sigh. “I guess I never thought I was going to live this long.” A Miller Lite and a John Wayne movie, and he feels a little better, if only for the moment.
Our seniors are a huge part of what makes Mt. Lebanon special—about 20 percent of our population is 65 or older, with amazing stories to tell and lessons to share. In this issue, you’ll find Lois Thompson’s lovely story about seniors who continue to work despite having passed that first social security off-ramp. I hope our younger readers absorb their work ethic and joy for living.
You’ll also find our senior advertising guide. Thanks to so many service providers for giving us easy and high quality ways to take care of our family members. I hope you’ll choose them to help you care for your loved ones.
And if you happen to pass through Robinson one of these days and you see a gray-headed Charles Bronson-type in a DAV hat taking forever to get through the doorway of a Chinese restaurant, hold the door for him and tell him it’s from me.