This is a ridiculous story. I was once playing Donkey Kong on the Intellivision with my father around the time that such a game console was popular. It was my father's turn, and he made it all the way up to Donkey Kong only to be crushed by a barrel right at the big ape's feet. It was an understandable mistake; not realizing he had one last ladder to climb, he thought he'd already beaten the round.
I was a sensitive child. That's the only explanation. With dad's game ended, he asked if I wanted to play. I said no. Then I went to my room and cried because my poor father hadn't known that the game wasn't over. I thought my father knew everything. I was moved to tears because he didn't.
I'm thinking about that today because I still hate the idea of my father facing disappointment, or the unknown, or fear. The lesson I first learned from Donkey Kong has only been reinforced as I've grown. My father is human. It's a strange understanding to have as someone's child--knowing that while I can control my own emotions, I am powerless when it comes to his.
My dad went in today for a cardioversion, which is an electrical shock to re-set the heart so the heart's natural pacemaker can take over. His first appointment earlier this week was cut short when it was shown that the medication used to thin his blood had not thinned it enough to reduce the risk of stroke associated with the procedure. So he went back in today. I'm still waiting to hear how it went.
I get all tight in the windpipe area just thinking about it. And, yes, I still think it's ridiculous that my first premonition of that feeling came in highly pixelated form on an old, wood-paneled console channeling Intellivision.