HOW OUR BLOG BEGAN, in AUGUST 2010: As many of you know, Phil has been struggling with a very complex series of neurological issues for about 5 years. This past spring, the issues became especially intense as a result of an unexpected cognitive decline and a fall on May 15th that resulted in a head injury and further decline. And then, on July 16th things catapulted to unbelievable, as Phil suffered from a severe "electrical storm" in his brain that essentially created a status of brain death for two full days. Inexplicably, the very morning that neurologists and other medical team members were planning removal of life support, Phil began breathing on his own and his brain waves returned to a stable, while still abnormal, level. Since then, each day has been a unique journey. And while he and his body continue to demonstrate a will and capacity to live, he continues to have severe deficits and it is quite uncertain as to the path he will take. As loved ones close in can attest to, it has been tricky to keep up emotionally with all of his changes, and provide the needed support. We can only imagine the hard work Phil has gone through as his brain has taken him through such roller coaster experiences. It is our goal here to keep family and close friends apprised of Phil's ongoing story, and to build connections that honor him.

AND THEN, SEPTEMBER 11, 2010....Dad's remarkable journey alongside us culminated in a gentle, generous death.

And so, my goal here now as his daughter is simply this: to record snippets...pieces of his life that my memory offers back to me, pieces of myself as I learn to live without a dad. I hope all who meander by find life, and hope, and peace.

Monday, September 13, 2010

tonight i was visiting auntie gail's blog, encouraged by the love her people are pouring out to her as she suffers the loss -- and joys -- of her brother's passing.

and then i sauntered over to her blog post about seth godin ("my two cents: why seth godin shouldn't quit", august 26).  one of my favorite authors too, i found myself loosely intrigued by the whole discussion of his recent decision to discontinue traditional publishing.  a passionate reader, and holder, of physical books, i normally would begin a full-on search to discover just exactly what the guy is up to.  but, given the permission cheryl has given me to have a post-passing dulling effect ("the 24-hour landmark" she called it, at 11:45 pm tonight), i figured that a vague interest would have to suffice for now.  but then -- one of her reader's comments, about 18 comments deep, grabbed me and held on tight:

"I could never give up the tangible, bound book. I, too, highlight Seth’s and a few others’ books with yellow and blue and even stick Post-It tabs on their pages. But the part I really can’t give up is an age old habit when I finish a good book. I close the pages and hold it tight next to my chest like I’m giving it a hug. I don’t know why I have always done that. I close my eyes while it’s right there and try to breathe in the very last words of wisdom that woosh out of it as it closes."

wow, annie binns.  in six simple sentences i am transported again to dad's bedside last night.  the closing of dad's eyes, the holding of my face tight against his chest, my fin, the resting of my head upon his chest as my eyes fill with tears.  i breathe in the very last of him, his breathe that wooshes out as he closes out this life and begins the next.

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