I know ... he's 93 and making it through each day the best he can. But he drives me crazy. I said it ... call me a schmuck but he drives me crazy and I told him so. Some days I get tired of playing "Who's on first?"
It all actually started a couple of weeks ago. While I was in the hospital, Debbie celebrated Sammy's birthday at Menorah Manor with all the other July birthday boys and girls.
"Where's Joel?" Sammy asked.
"Well, Sam ... he's in the hospital again. He's okay though ... another heart procedure ..."
Yep. That's what he said to Debbie. She told me he was unfazed. Actually, I wasn't upset that he didn't ask a lot of questions. Usually, he asks lots more, doesn't quite comprehend all the tests and worries a lot.
A few days later he called my phone and left a message.
I called him back.
"Dad, I've been in the hospital ..."
"So why didn't you tell me Josh was in the paper about his job with the Rays? It's embarrassing not knowing ..."
"Well ... I've been a little bit preoccupied ..."
"You didn't have time to call?"
"I've been in the hospital."
"What? I didn't know that. Why didn't anybody tell me. Don't you know how I worry?"
"Debbie told you the other day. Listen, I don't want you to worry. It was a procedure that ..."
"So when are you coming over to bring me lunch?"
"Um ... when I get out of the hospital ..."
"You are in the hospital?"
If the story stopped there it would have been frustrating enough. But it didn't. We went to see him this weekend and brought him an egg salad sandwich from Jo-El's Deli. He loves their sandwiches and this one he could actually chew.
"Dad ... we brought you a sandwich."
"Good ... I need shoes."
"Um ... okay ... well we just brought you another pair but if you want something else..."
"I want the bone colored, soft leather loafer."
"Like the ones you are wearing?"
"Are those not working out."
"That's a stupid thing to say. These are the ones that I want."
"Okay ... I will get you ANOTHER pair."
"So ... where have you been?"
Okay ... that was it. I told him he doesn't ever listen to me. I hear about Iris's sons and the Rays lineup for the game and Mrs. Schwartz's gall bladder procedure and what happened at the poker game last week. But he doesn't listen to anything I tell him.
Just then ... one of the staff walked in and told me hello. Then she said ... "Oh Joel, I'm glad you are here. Your dad was so worried about you last week. You know he didn't know you were in the hospital. You really should let him know."