My parents go grocery shopping on Fridays.

If you’re like me, the notion that I would know on Friday what I’m going to have on Thursday is laughable. A nice goal – planning that far in advance, and shopping for it – but not realistic.

But my parents do this every week. They go grocery shopping on Friday because that’s the day they get special discounts. And they are somehow able to plan their week such that this works. This impresses me to no end.

So, on Friday, when my father had to have emergency surgery due to some unexplained bleeding, this interrupted their shopping schedule. Dad mentioned this to me on the phone – that they were going to have to go shopping on Saturday instead of Friday.

My father’s knack for organization never ceases to amaze me. I forget what I’m doing so often that if I don’t keep a written list in front of me at work, I forget from moment to moment what I’m supposed to be working on. I’m interrupt-driven at work – responding to every interruption, and then trying to get back to what I was doing, hoping I haven’t forgotten it.

But, even during those very hard years, when I couldn’t even remember to show up to their house for dinner, they never chastised me for my forgetfulness. I don’t know if I ever thanked them for their patience with me.

My sister wrote a few days ago about remembering and forgetting, and I remember when my grandfather no longer remembered who I was, and my grandmother scoffed at the idea that she’d ever had children. And I can’t remember where I was going with this post when I started writing it.

Oh, yes. Friday.

On Friday, I was frightened that my beloved father might have something life-threatening. That my mother would be alone, with far more to worry about than shopping for a week of groceries. That my father, who taught me to be a gentleman, taught me to make candles and pancakes, taught me to love literature and music, wouldn’t be there any more.

But when I spoke to him on the phone, he talked about having to move grocery day. I was struck by how practical he is, even when life has handed him hard times and disappointments.

I love you, Dad. I appreciate the things that you’ve done to set me on my path. And we’re looking forward to spending some more time with you next month.