In my dad’s last 20 years he turned into a political conservative. But he didn’t understand why a woman’s right to choose had ever been an issue; was good to all people, and loved nothing more than to teach people things–never accepted money or gifts for teaching my friends how to understand and do their taxes–he was a well known and respected Manhattan CPA who could have commanded monster prices but was choosy about his client list. For one thing corporations had to be ethical. individuals had to capture his interest and he loved being around people in the arts. So despite his love of rightist politics we decided to keep him. He died thirteen years ago. I have often felt and been comforted by his presence since then.
He met my mom when they were teenagers. He was dirt poor, too tall and thin, and all my mom’s girlfriends would ask her why she stayed with him. “He makes me laugh,” was her only answer. Her friends’ handsome boyfriends turned into fat post office clerks and things like that. My dad grew better looking with age and my mom taught him how to shop at Barneys. Later he had a suit manufacturer for a client who would make suits for him. He seemed to have a client for everything. As a girl I thought that all daddy’s did.
I didn’t miss my dad after he died as much as I had expected to because I had to keep him alive for my mom. Also though his death was quick–he spent five days in a coma, and that gave us time to say our good byes.
My mom had developed macular degeneration. She became increasingly dependent on my sister and I.