Tuesday, August 4, 2015
What do we live for?
Dad was admitted to the hospital yesterday. It's nothing life threatening - a bad bladder infection, but at his age, always a concern. It took me a few hours to find out as I wasn't in a location where a phone call was easily received and it was evening, West Coast Time, before I got the voice mail from his home health aide and found him at the hospital. I talked to his nurse, he was on an IV and resting comfortably, already talking about a road trip later in the week with a friend to visit a cemetery of a loved one that's in another state.
I remember the last time we were at those graves, the early Spring rain cold, thick as melted snow, with only a false lover's promise of warmth. I stood back as he stood in the rain, the tears on his cheeks mingling with the tears from above, before taking him on home. Even as hard as that was, and as cold as I was, I left feeling very thankful to be one that remains, breathing deep the air as we moved back towards the car.
As I spoke with the hospital last night, the nurse told me how she loves talking to my Dad, hearing his stories, his optimism. Dad has lost so much, yet, he's found that wonderful place in life where he knows what a gift each day is, and strives to do something more with it, than eat, take his many medicines, and wait for the reaper.
It's no way to live.
She'd married again, but you could see in her eyes as she looked at the films that she was looking at the love of her life and the look of joy and happiness on her lined face moved me to tears. For there in those flickering avatars that highlighted the passing of many years, was a moment that flickered without weariness or regret, captured forever immortal beneath the shining wings of an airplane.
Today, I'm tired, a night interrupted, a poor night's sleep once I did lay down. I'd rather be somewhere other than working away and alone. But I hear in the quiet stillness, the murmurings of tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. They will be here before I know it, then gone again.
I could just get through my day, have a salad for dinner, and massage my aching knee. But I'm not, I'm going to have a espresso and a croissant - calories be damned. I'm going to finish my day, and then get on a bicycle and ride through the streets, breaking free of the day, not in justification, or excuse but as one brief moment of immortalization, open and explicable, beyond the tarnish of fear.
With a cheery wave, I'll ride on past them, down to the canal, the austere shades that were the familiar of my past, giving way to sun upon water, even as the clouds gather to watch. The brilliance is too passionate to be ignored, and I will put aside my aching knee and pedal as hard as I can to reach it, stopping at the edge, to wonder, as the young believe only they can wonder.
The river of our courage and physical strengths runs into the same waters as the thread of our remaining days. As we rush towards it, we release our own waters, the transpiration of breath. It mingles with the water that blows wet away from the river's surface, the moisture rising towards heaven, a cycle as old as time.
As I turn the bicycle back towards my lodging, the rain begins, falling interrupted with that soft sound which is the river accepting back its rain. The water is warm, as is my breath,
Posted by Brigid at 7:15 AM