My sister emailed me and said she saw dad looking out the window in his new double room in the rehab center near Houston St. She sent a pic probably taken soon after he was staring out the window. She said she wondered what he was thinking. Later that evening I called and he answered and told me it was cold and snowing in New York.
When dad was growing up in the Bronx, on one street for a couple of blocks it was deeply slanted and he and some friends had all sorts of fun sledding down it. As a city boy such experiences stand out. I heard about that a few times along with the fact that he drew some ships, which I never knew.
Another time in the last few years or so he was passing by a father and son and he helped the father hold the boy on top of a snow mound and guide him down. The father and son were thrilled with the experience and my father's know how and assistance. He told me this story not that long ago. Sledding in the city was his country experience.
When I grew up in the city I had a couple of sleds. I recall the name American Flyer but mine was from an older and better company. I dragged it around for a time where I lived. There weren't many hills, and the snow was inconsistent, and there was always homework, but I had a few rides. I think the promise of what could be done remained in my imagination more than actually what was done.
That night, at the beginning of our talk, with dad in a rehab facility for a high blood rate, and with myself in Florida, dad said "it was snowing and he wished he could go sledding." So that's what he was thinking. I wanted to fly up and buy a sled and have one last ride with him. One more piece of fun for dad in this life. This broke me.