“Dad! What are you doing on the roof? Get down from there!”
Jesus. I hold the ladder steady as he works his way down. As soon as I can reach him I hold him steady too.
84 years old.
“What were you thinking? You know your balance is no good anymore, you could have broken your neck.”
“I’m feeling pretty steady today, just wanted to do a bit of work on that flashing. It had come loose in that wind last night.”
“Well, you call me for that, or Simon, he’s got some time free from classes this summer. You know those dizzy spells can hit you all the sudden. It’s just not safe for you to be doing that sort of thing anymore.”
He wipes the tip of the caulking gun with a rag, walks into the garage to put it away with the rest of the tools. Carrying the ladder I call after him: “Dad, you’ll call when you need help?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’ll call.”
There’s something in the deflated way he says it, his shoulders sagging forward. He seems to have shrunk just a little.
I’ve made my point, won that little battle. Just trying to keep him safe, damn it. But Dad, well Dad, I think he just lost something.