Father Chili turns 91 today.
That’s right – NINETY ONE!
Mr. Chili the Senior is in remarkably good shape; he’s healthy, he’s still sharp and aware, and he is still perfectly capable of completely independent living (though we DO check in on them pretty regularly because, you know, while Dad might be on the ball, Mom really isn’t). I worry about him being behind the wheel (but that’s nothing new; I’ve been saying that neither of them has any business having driver’s licenses for years now), and I don’t like one little bit the idea of him clearing snow, but beyond that, it’s all good.
Father Chili is a good man. He’s devoted to his family, he’s ethical and thoughtful, and he remains dedicated to his profession (he was an electrical engineering professor for his entire career. He remains active in professional associations and even does a little consulting on the side). His past is a near-complete mystery to his children; they know he grew up fatherless and poor, but that’s all they know. Clearly there were some traumas there; he’s hesitant to demonstrate affection (though he mopes if I forget to give him a hello hug and kiss) and he wells up around the holidays, but by and large, he’s managed to find some equilibrium in his life and, I think, to find some genuine contentment.
I am honored that Father Chili loves me, and I’m grateful that he continues his steadfast and determined trek around the sun. I hope to be celebrating him for several more years to come.