I can remember, with clarity, the first time I realized my dad was human with regards to health concerns. Not the date, just the instance. I was 12 (I think) and he was starting to have neck issues from his football playing days when he was in high school. The way they were showing up was as bad migraines that had him lose track of time. It was the first and only time I ever was truly afraid of my dad.
He had neck surgery, got some vertebra fused together, and he was back to his old self (if not being able to turn his head as much). And my fears were relieved. I got to forget that my dad had health problems for a while.
This year has reminded me, once again, that my dad is human and that someday, he won't be here any more. I'm hoping for that day to be a long time away. He helps some by joking that only the good die young so he'll live forever (not that he's really bad, he just likes to pretend he's tougher than he is), and that chicks dig scars. Of course, that only does so much good before I'm wanting to just sit and watch him and make sure he's really okay.
My biggest frustration lately with Ace and I not having kids yet is that I want them to know my dad for as long as possible. This year had been reminding me that I've only got him around for so long (and I don't know how long that is). I can tell he's ready for grandchildren too, he's getting to play pretend grandpa with a friend's daughter (to her, he's like an uncle, but he's clearly pretending she's his grandkid until he gets one of his own).
It's hard emotionally, this realizing that my dad is human and that he won't be here forever. That someday I'll probably be attending his funeral. That he won't be here to buy me Mickey Mouse pajama pants forever.
Sorry this isn't very cheerful or seasonably appropriate. It's just what's on my mind today. And now I think I'll go give Ace a hug and remind him that we do have plans to get out of our room today. I think I really need that piece of free chocolate right now.