My Dad

Posted in #AgeWell

Written by Annie Laskey, Events Director, Pasadena Senior Center

This coming Sunday, June 21, is Father’s Day, so it seems only fitting that I dedicate today’s blog post to my Dad, Tom. Thomas Southard Laskey, Jr. was born on January 6, 1928, which puts him in his 93rd year. And, boy, is he irritated at COVID19.

Up until March 16, he was out most days and many nights, singing with a Barbershop Harmony chorus and his church choir, taking acting and theatre appreciation classes, going to movies and theater, eating out, attending parties, and still finding time for a bit of travel. None of that now! But he gamely tries to make the best of it, doing classes and socializing on Zoom, practicing his singing, staying active with daily walks around the neighborhood, and watching lots of movies.

Dad and I have been amicable housemates for decades. Before we were all quarantined at home, I really didn’t see him that often, even though we lived in the same house. I was at work all day, he was out at his singing or theatre activities most evenings. We’d practically have to make appointments to have a meal together. Now, we are together all the time and have to work out ways to NOT see each other! I have a desk in my room where I work on my laptop, and he has the front room where the PC is set up, along with an armchair by the window for reading. I take long walks; he goes out to the backyard and sits in the sun. On Saturdays, I go to the Senior Center to work in my office with no one else around, giving us a whole day apart!

We do, however, still make appointments for meals. Monday through Friday, I stop work about 5pm and fix dinner (Dad’s job is to set the table). Then we “dress for dinner.” Dad puts on a dress shirt and tie, I pick out my best jewelry and nice shoes, and then we take a selfie. The weekends are a little different. Since I’m in Pasadena most Saturdays, we don’t have dinner together, but we do take a photo. Sunday is always a fancy champagne brunch.

Dressing for Dinner gives punctuation to the day: one more COVID day successfully navigated! We talk over dinner about what we did (or didn’t do) during the day. Talk about what we will do (or won’t do) the next day. Champagne on Sundays means yet another week has passed (yep, it also means a bottle of champagne a week, but it’s all in the name of sanity)!

This surreal time has brought much tragedy, chaos, and anger. But although COVID19 has locked us down and put the activities we love on hiatus, it is precisely because of the pandemic that I now have 85 (and counting!) photos of my dad and I that would never have been taken under “normal” circumstances. Every day, another photo. Dressed up, smiling, and toasting the past, present, and future.