February 12th, 2013 by Jan

Ken used to say in his work, that you could have your work – Fast, cheap or accurate, just pick two. You don’t get everything. If you want it fast and cheap, you probably won’t get it accurate. Choose accurate and fast, the job won’t be cheap. Today it was fitting to see a small cartoon that showed a graph with Young — Adult — Old and the correlation of Time, Money and Energy. Basically with these too, you get two out of the three.

When we are young, we have plenty of time and energy, but not much money. As adults, money and energy are strong forces, but we tend to be very busy and time slips by. The older we get, there is usually plenty of money and time in our day, but energy wanes.

My dad hit a wall of reality today. All the money in the world and all day to do what you’d like to, doesn’t provide him with the energy necessary to do the things he wants to do. He is not 70 any more, much less, 17, 35 or 60. Dad is 87 with heart disease. He has enough money to see him comfortable for a few more years. He can take his time through the day, has no pressing engagements and yet, he lacks the energy he so desperately wants. It’s sad to watch.

Day by day, he lets go of another thing, he “used to do”. He won’t be competing in the Senior Olympics this year. He let his gym membership lapse. He isn’t buying bulk tickets to the pool; he pays as he goes. He has been okay for the most part with all this as it sneaks up on him slowly.
Today was a big slap down though and he is having a struggle. Being witness to my fathers emotions is hard and a gift. I want to go in a different room and let him cry alone, but I also know it is better for all of us to cry with others. So I stay. Usually I am a compassionate cryer, but not with him. I just hold his hand, watch and continue to provide encouragement to “let go” staying honest.

Today, he received a phone call from the Pritzker Military Library in Chicago. Dad is friends with Jim Pritzker, a zillionaire who gives scholarship money away to ROTC candidates all over the US. Anyway, Jim’s secretary called to tell dad that on April 19, 2013, in New York City, a $10,000. Scholarship will be given in memory of dad’s wife.

What an honour —how generous!
Then the reality of my dad understanding and accepting the fact that he is not physically able to attend the event. He has the time and  the money, but his energy (life force) is letting him down. It’s all starting to sink in and it is hard.

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