“Hello Father.” I grinned a friendly, confident smile when I walked into his room later in the evening. He was still laying flat on the bed, but the gruff “Hello” that I got for a response informed me that he was returning to normality.
“How are you?” I asked politely.
“How do you think I am, lying here all trussed up and connected to so many machines I can't move at all?” His reply halted the conversation for a moment. However, I was expecting this, and had the next comment prepared.
“It looks like they are taking good care of you here. And you certainly have a nice room. What did the doctors think happened?”
“Oh, just a stroke, like they originally thought. I should be able to get out of here in a week or less.”
"That's good to hear. I'm sure you are looking forward to that."
"Yes, I sure am!"
Now my brain churned, wondering how to word my request.
"Father I was thinking...."
"What, son? Come up with another hair-brained idea of yours?"
"No, Father. I was just thinking how difficult it will be for you to work on the farm after this." He looked like he was about to interrupt, so I rushed on. "I know that the doctors will have some restrictions for you after this, and that after a week in the hospital it will take a while for you to get your muscles back up to shape again. I was thinking that I should help on the farm for the next couple weeks or so."
'Bah. I won't need any help." He protested.
I saw him weakening, so I bluffed. "Father, I insist. If you push yourself you will end up in here again, and for a lot longer! Besides, I want to come back and spend some time with you before I head off into adulthood."
"Not ready to fly the nest?" He prodded.
"No, just ready to remember my childhood."
A long pause endued, our thoughts drifting to the past.
"Ok son, I'll accept your help. But don't go making a mess or getting in people's way."
"Father. I am no longer a child."
"You are, until you prove yourself an adult."