However, as we grow older we become susceptible to all manners and patters of age related illnesses and whatnot. Our skin becomes wrinklier, our bones don't heal as quickly and our joints snap crackle and pop with increasingly horrible noises. Which is what my Dad has been going through more and more of late.
When I was growing up Fatman senior was a big, hefty slab of a man. His face always obscured with a cloud of Dr.Pat's tobacco smoke, Hefner-eque, as he'd read a copious amount of newspapers commenting on world events in his almost British way of speaking. He had been a Management Consultant for a bunch of companies and spent most of his time being poached and head hunted for bigger and bigger companies.
His jet setting lifestyle ( which had taken Clan Fatman around the world- Saudi Arabia, Europe, Japan) came to an abrupt halt in the crash of 1988 and he has been deteriorating- physically, mentally, financially, spiritually- ever since. These days I get an almost monthly phone call telling me that he is in hospital.
It's a scary experience. Every time the phone rings and it's from the Nursing home (a.k.a. Museum of Prunes) I expect the worst. By the time I get to the hospital he has adjusted well enough to try to introduce me to some of the nurses ( whose names he'll not remember. A Heazlewood tradition) or demand tobacco and in some circumstances, pants. 'My dear boy,' he'll begin ' I'll need you to contact some people to make ( another get-rich-quick scheme) happen. Also I'm going to need a stenographer.'
' A stenographer?'
'Just do it. We'll be writing letters until dawn.'
...and then he'll proceed to work on a project until he gets bored.
I went to visit him today. A frail old man greeted me. This guy who is flawed and beautiful and on his last legs. Most of the time we argue about trivial things but today we had to sit around waiting for an ambulance to take us to a Radiology clinic to have a suspected pelvis fracture checked out. We don't really talk much. I wish I had something to say.