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Open-Faced Sandwich

By Janie Rosman

(Page 3 of 3)

By what definition?

A trip to the eye doctor was telling. One wall of the waiting room had large plastic canisters of assorted sweets. He likes hard candies, so I brought him two and sat down to read a magazine.

Out of the corner of my eye, I watched Dad attempt to open one candy. He gave it his all while I sat there wanting to help without embarrassing him.

Children want to do things by themselves. My niece, eight, and my nephew, 12, are fiercely independent and ask for help only if strength is required or if something is out of their reach.

“Would you please open this?” Dad asked, his eyes admitting frustration at his physical limitations.

At that moment, I felt sorry for him—the once-strapping man who served in the United States Army and who, fatherless at age 20, was emotionally strong for his young widowed mother.

“Thank you,” he said, eyes now showing gratitude.

July 4 of this year he had another stroke, and a little more of his strength disappeared. I know he struggles to ask for help; more times than not, I sense his need without his asking.

And although my parents celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary (October 1955), I worry about them like they used to—and probably still do—worry about me. I’ve made plans to move; yet each time, the gods smile and change them. As one friend says, “You can get there from here only if you’re happy with your ‘here.’”

So for now, I remain an open-faced sandwich.

 


Believing that everyone has a story and needs someone to tell it, Janie Rosman writes about community, lifestyles and business for various media. Her byline appeared in Ulster Publishing, Gannett newspapers, IN Magazine ( Texas ), Westchester Parent and Westchester Commerce Magazine. Previously she reported for a weekly newspaper.

 

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