Friday, July 6, 2012


After cooking dinner for my mother, I visited my father for the second time today.  Approaching his room I heard him choking, he told me he wasn’t doing well.  This is the first time I’ve heard him complain. I stayed a half hour past visiting hours, not wanting to leave until I knew he was as comfortable as possible.  Breathing and talking was compromised from phlegm pooling in the back of his throat.  Coughing weakened him and didn’t clear his passageways. Seeing him struggle was extremely difficult to witness.  I consulted an aid, who examined him, called the doctor and gave him Robitussin and a mask to alleviate his congestion. He kept thanking me, and kissing my hand, aware I was doing everything possible to help him.  “When can I get out of here?” I responded truthfully, “we don’t know yet.  Moments later he told me the “cabin” was cold, and asked where in China we’d be arriving.  May he remain on an adventure in the South Seas.  He always knows my name, knows I live in California and will be getting on a flight soon.  He often asks when I’m leaving, and I told him I pushed my flight back several days.  If only this happened during the years I wasn’t working, I would stay.  So many if onlys.  I’m thankful to be here now, to share this transition with him, and to provide any ease possible.  I wonder if this is what our relationship was always about, his exit. It’s an incredibly powerful experience to share with someone.  “I’ll never be able to repay everyone for this love,” he said to me earlier today.  “You’ve earned it,”I told him, “no need to repay anyone”.  I put myself in his shoes and wonder if I'd be so stoic or if the panic demons would invade my space.

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