Thursday, June 25, 2009

Lazy Death

It's been a while since my last post...June has been a month of travel and dealing with my dad starting his travel to his next "post." He had a few little strokes this month, and the last one a few days ago -- just a day after my departure from a little visit with him in Alaska -- is now affecting his cognitive reasoning. Today when the nurses asked him where he was he said England or Alaska, one of the two. Yesterday he was in Redding! In fact he is where he's been living since I was a mere 12 or 13 years old: Anchorage, Alaska.

He's sleeping a lot and in my experience with people who are in the death process, sleep tends to be a good deal of what is on their "to do" list. In fact, at the bedside of a few of my dying friends and relatives I've had the distinct impression that even though they were physically in the bed, they were travelling to the other side, dipping into their next stop of life/death.

When I talked to my dad this morning I said "Hey dad, it's your one and only daughter calling from Los Angeles." Thank God he recognized me. Thank God I'm an only child, so he didn't have to sift through a lot of offspring memories to find me. We actually had a nice little chat. These are the chats I will miss, the ones where I can tell he is on the other end of the phone all lit up just upon hearing my voice. No one will ever light up like my dad does at the sound of my voice.

I take solace in the words of my friends when they tell me they still talk to their parents who have gone and still hear their voices, as if they were hear. And, in the meantime, my Lazy Lesson for the Day, Week and Month is to stay in the moment. In this moment, he's alive. As he slips away from the dad he used to be it's like I'm mourning the little pieces of him. But, in this moment, he is alive, and this moment truly is all that matters.

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