Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"I Don't Know, and I Won't Ask"....

Dad is cool. And here's why I think so....

Sunday we attended the Homecoming church service at SFB. Homecoming service is a big deal because the choir comes out of hibernation, puts on their blue and white choir robes and music abounds. This after a long, dry summer with a soloist here and there and the organist but none of the great anthems we've come to expect over the years. The service was great and Dad thoroughly enjoyed the music and the fanfare.

But, he still can't hear worth a damn despite his hearing aids. That's a topic for a separate discussion entirely. He hears the music because the decibel level is up there. As for the greeting, the sermon, the readings, and the prayers; he's basically stone deaf to it all  that's spoken in church.

During one of the hymns, there's an opportunity to come forward with specific prayer requests. In all my years attending church I've only done this once before; one time when Dad was sick and hospitalized back in 2006. I asked for prayers for his healing and the request was read aloud along with multiple other prayer requests.

This past Sunday, I definitely had something worthy of a prayer or two and so I left my seat with Dad telling him I'd be "right back". I didn't think he even missed me and I certainly didn't think he heard my prayer request. He never mentioned a thing about it.

Until....the next day, Laura and I stopped by to visit him and we got to talking about how lovely the church service had been.

Dad: "Yes, and you got up during the hymn and walked up to one of the ministers."

Me: "Yeah, I had a prayer request. The minister mentioned all the requests during the prayers of the people part of the service. You couldn't hear what she was saying, could you?"

Dad: "No. I couldn't hear anything. I don't know what you were praying for and.....I won't ask".

We laughed and moved right on to another topic of conversation. Dad is very perceptive, even more so it seems in his 90's and at the most unexpected times. He knew there was something on my mind, something that made me want to walk up and talk to a minister with a prayer request but he's never been one to pry. Always willing to listen but he never pushes.

I do intend to share my prayer request with him. He needs to know. And, perhaps he can offer his sage advice which might possibly be...."It'll all turn out OK in the end".

Thanks in advance, Dad.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Resentment vs Guilt

When I visit Dad, as I did today, I.....

1. Ask how he is sleeping.
2. Water his plant
3. Straighten the framed photos on the wall that have slipped out of place
4. Check the candy and Ensure supply
5. Ask about library books; which ones are ready to go back?
6. Check and remark about the updated Exxon Mobil stock quote
7. Clean and change the batteries in his hearing aids.
8. Hand him his 5 pound weight and encourage him to "lift 200 pounds", a hundred with each arm
9. Check the volume on his telephone
10. Let him know when I'll be back next and ask if he wants anything

Today he complained about not getting his eye drops. He also couldn't give me a definitive "yes" about going to church on Sunday and told me to call him back on Sunday morning to decide yay or nay. He wasn't happy about his shoes and couldn't understand why his foot care provider wanted him to get a new pair. He told me Geydon will only let him have 2 peppermint patties a day. He pointed out that the carpet in his room had been professionally cleaned recently. He told me that as soon as I left he was going to get one of the caregivers to take him out for a walk. When I told him he looked good today, he said, "Thank you" and smiled.

Each visit is much the same. He seems to welcome my company but I'm lately feeling as though his world is shrinking smaller. The smallest things are huge for him.

Sometimes battling the snarled up traffic to drive all the way to Northgate and back seems like such a waste of precious time. I wish he were closer.  I spend more time in the car than I do with him. A big bite comes right out of the day when I go to Dad's.  Balancing the feelings of resentment with the guilt of not going when I could or should is rough. Guess which is the worse feeling? Yep...guilt is way worse. Always has been and always will be.

And, tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Blurry Edges

I'm drawn to this photograph for many reasons. Yes, I used  this picture in my last blog post, the provocative, "world turned upside down" soothsayer entry. But, I return today to study the colors, the shapes of the trees, the blurry edges, and the specks of white that dot the scene.  This is a lowly I phone picture taken at the Japanese Garden at Manito Park in Spokane over the Labor Day weekend two weeks ago. I was standing on a wooden bridge that crossed over a serene pool swimming with koi. At once mesmerizing and calming, I felt a slight breeze of cool air in the midst of a very warm day. I looked down into the water and the reflection of the shimmering trees and clouds above looked back at me. The visual experience was, let's say, "nice" at the time and I thought a photo remembrance might be good. I'd been taking I phone pictures all afternoon and this one was just another.

But, when I actually had time to look at this photograph, I connected more deeply.The colors are lovely and muted. The water and sky become one and the reflected trees are upside down, their crispness distorted into  blurred edges.  Reminds me a bit of a 19th century painting by Manet or Monet. There is mystery and magic here.

Perception is not reality and reality is not perception.

I am awash in changing emotions and thoughts. The photograph gives me some comfort right now and this is what I need most.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

So Sayeth the Soothsayer......

My last post was exactly two weeks ago, on my Birthday. It was a happy, good day. I alluded to something I did that I had never done before in addition to all the other lovely things that consumed my day. What was that thing?

I visited the psychic, the tarot reader, the soothsayer.

I've never had my palm read nor have I had my cards read. But, driving by his place of business every day on my way home from work coupled with a bit of hyped-up curiosity, I walked in for a consultation. Much like a seasoned professional, in fact much like the work I do....if you ask the right questions and look carefully at body language, you're 80 percent there. He told me nothing I didn't already know.

But, he did say with a modicum of urgency and emphasis, "It's going to get worse".  "It" is what we talked about. Did he say this to entice me to come back and use phrases like "I guarantee I can help you" to keep me engaged?  Likely. Unfortunately, for his wallet, the promise of a guaranteed success story didn't work. I will not be going back. Who in their right mind tells a doctor they can guarantee anything? Especially not when we're talking of matters out of our control. Come on.

But he was right to tell me that things would get worse. Although it's a pretty good bet in most settings, he was spot on here. 48 hours later my life changed forever and flipped upside down.