Dad's been thinking. He knows better than anyone that it could be a confusing past-time, but he wants to get his ducks in a row. See, the other day he was talking to someone who didn't recognize any of Dad's favorite groups, singers or TV shows. And Dad began to realize something: He's getting older. This started a change of events that magnified a lot of other things in his life.

Did I always take this much time to get over a cold?

Have my legs and back always had these twinges?

Am I forgetting things more often?

What happened to me?!

Being Dad, he systematically answered his own questions:

Who knows? Maybe

Probably, but I, also probably, paid less attention to them. I was always doing something.

I can't remember -

I guess I finally grew up ...

and kept on getting older.

And again, being Dad, he considered what it all meant - if anything at all. Chances are that recovery does take a little longer. Chances are that muscle aches and pains are increasing as he tries to do all he did when he was younger. And as to forgetting things more often? I'm with Dad: Would I remember if I was?

To Dad, it wasn't a sad time, nor was it an epic epiphany; it was another one of those times where he stopped, looked around, and considered where he was in life. Not a bad exercise. He realized he had some things to do. Like most of us, Dad had some ideas regarding how he wanted to do things should a disastrous health incident occur, and even some opinions on how he wanted to exit this world. (Dad realized a long time ago, that he wasn't getting out of this world alive.)

Now that he's stepped into this particular stream, he's sure there's going to be some wading (and possibly swimming), but he's up for it. First things first, he's going to need to define what he wants to do and have done. If he doesn't make these decisions then be guaranteed someone else down the road will ... and it might not be what Dad wants to happen.

Step 1: Make the decisions

Step 2: Communicate the decisions. Talk to the family-not always a comfortable, fun conversation, but it goes a long way toward allow him to live his own life how he wants to.

Step 3: Document the decisions and make sure they're accessible.

So Dad's got some stuff to get through. But to him, it's just that: stuff. Important, yes, and it needs to be done, but it's not a train wreck. The biggest player in all this is Dad himself. It's his life, his decisions.

We'll be following along for a while to see how he does, but as mentioned before, Dad is Dad, and he will do things his way. Taking charge of his own life - what a concept.

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