Will you be happy when we die?

That’s the question my father asked me the other day, on the way home from an appointment. Of course, my answer was “no, I don’t think I’ll be happy when you die…”

“relieved?” he asked

“to tell you the truth, I don’t really know how I’m going to feel when you die. I have no idea” I replied “There have been a lot of really good things about having you and mom living with us”

I’ve been thinking a lot about that conversation. No, I won’t be happy when they die. But there are times when I wish I could get away from the responsibility for a while.

I looked up “responsibility” and “responsible” online at dictionary.com:


1590s, “answerable (to another, for something),” from Fr. responsible, from L. responsus, pp. of respondere “to respond” (see respond). Meaning “morally accountable for one’s actions” is attested from 1836. Retains the sense of “obligation” in the Latin root word.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Here’s the legal definition:

Main Entry: re·spon·si·ble
Function: adjective
1 a : liable to be called on to answer b : liable to be called to account as the primary cause, motive, or agent c : liable to legal review or in case of fault to penalties
2 : characterized by trustworthiness, integrity, and requisite abilities and resources responsible bidder>
3 : able to choose for oneself between right and wrong
4 : marked by or involving accountability responsible office> —re·spon·si·bil·i·ty nounre·spon·si·ble·ness nounre·spon·si·bly adverb

It would be nice not to have to be accountable to, or liable to be called on, or to have to be trustworthy, or answerable to, or obliged…. for a little while. I don’t want to abdicate all responsibility, but sometimes I’d like to be able to simply enjoy their company without that duty.

You know?


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