Great word, healthy. I never realized what a warm, soothing word it was until I became an old guy. It’s a comforting word. I hear it, and I let out a sigh of relief.
I’m almost 75, and relatively speaking, I’m healthy. (Phhhhwww… See? There’s the sigh of relief.) Don’t get me wrong; people don’t mistake me for a hot 43-year-old tennis pro. My legs got bad enough that I finally gave up tennis. I need to lose 10-15 pounds. And in a noisy restaurant, I hear half of what’s being said at our table. But… I’m basically healthy. I SAID I’M BASICALLY HEALTHY!! (PHHHHWWW!)
Seriously though, folks.
In 2020, during the pandemic that won’t disappear, the concept of healthy has become even more important to people our age. It is a fact that older people are especially vulnerable to covid-19 infection, and that’s scary. I get a cough, and I think, oh shit. Or if the omelette doesn’t taste quite right… feel my head, do I have a fever?
All of this is to say that it’s comforting just to know we’re healthy. And that brings me to the point of this Old Guy post.
Oh wait. I may have left out a small detail.
Did I mention that our son and figlia-in-law, who just moved to Chicago, are pregnant? (I kept telling them, move back to Chicago! Good things happen in Chicago!) Did I mention that Carole and I are going to be grandparents? Did I mention that we’ve been waiting for their test results to come back to tell us the gender of our first grandchild? Did I mention any of that to you? I’m sorry. Must have slipped my mind, what with the World Series and the Election and all. Anyway, the kids are pregnant, Margherita had her doctor’s appointment for genetic testing, and we’ve been waiting for the results. Now you’re up to speed.
So I’m grilling salmon on the deck. Carole comes out and says, “Get in here! The kids want to chat. They have news!” I say, “Tell them we’ll call ‘em right back. Salmon’s got another minute.” Grandchildren are important, but you have to cook a good piece of salmon just right. You can’t rush it.
I get the salmon off the grill, we call them back, and Carole puts them on speaker. We’re about to find out if we’re buying Obama or RBG crib sheets and pillow cases. “Hey guys, whassup?”
Matt says they just talked to the doctor. Yeah, yeah, yeah, so whassup? Thankfully, Margherita’s voice interrupts. “So first of all… we found out we have a healthy baby.”
Phhhhwww!! I didn’t plan to let out that sigh; it just came. And we hadn’t even found out what I thought we wanted to find out. But we did find out what we really wanted to find out: they have a healthy baby.
Wow. It’s about the size of a healthy lemon right now, with a healthy heartbeat. And it should arrive around April 30. (We checked our calendar; we’re free that month.)
What impressed me about that brief, joyful phone call was that I thought we just wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl. But Margherita knew what we all really needed to know: that it was healthy.
The salmon was done perfectly; with a little lemon, it tasted just right. And in case you’re wondering, we’re going to have a granddaughter.