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.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

a couple little things

i never thought i'd be the type of person who would need to keep in some sort of odd touch with the dead.  but, i guess i never really thought about what it would be like to live without a dad.  we didn't rely on giving each other updates when our lives were criss crossing here.  but somehow i must have known that dad always bent his ear, never rushed me through my vocalizations.  especially as a little girl.  i remember the bike rides, how i would petal and he would run beside my purple banana seat bike.  it worked well for both of us, i guess: because i had to go kinda slow (my front wheel would wobble sometimes), i had plenty of air in my chest cavity to do all of the talking, and since you had to go kinda fast to stay in step, you had only enough air to say "uh, huh" ....which was all the encouragement i needed to continue on.  occasionally i'd wonder at your interest, because you weren't saying much, but then you'd look my way, and smile, and i knew you were all mine.

so, here are my updates:

* my kindergarten teacher contacted me.  One of the most influential women in my whole childhood, one who nurtured me solidly onto a trail of continuous-feed learning. my heart is so full of, i don't know, just so full, that i begin to choke up with tears just thinking that she can still be in my life after an entire childhood has come and gone, and all of my early adulthood years as well.  i know without a doubt that she was the firstI knew that heros could exist beyond moms and dads.  I was taken, to my core, with admiration and the strongest urge to make her proud.  well she contacted me via email, can you believe it, and she lives in Tucson.  i just cannot wait til i can pull myself together and go give her a hug from the deepest place of childhood love.  and sure enough, she's proud of me, and you, and all we did together as you died.

* tim has taken a job that has given us an unbelievably exciting new-life adventure.  we get to live in texas too!  it's very cool.  i think you would love to do a tour of the manufacturing "plant" -- huge office, really, where they build their boxes, the ones that sniff the air for toxins.  I think you'd be fascinated, and would ask tim such best questions that he would actually begin to feel that it was him that was so fascinating.  I loved how you could do that.  tune in so well that people felt better about themselves by just having a simple conversation wtih you. 

* on Saturday a guy broke into our back office and started stealing our Arcadia computers.  then for some reason he started coming into the house via the pantry door at the same time that i was walking toward the pantry.  I wasn't sure what I was seeing until I was looking at him through the glass door that I apparetnly had just slammed in his little dark hoodied face.  i won't bore you with the details.  but i guess the take home message is that i finally get why you men think doors should be locked.  here all this time i thought you were being hypervigilant, because maybe you all were forced to give up playing cowboys and indians a couple years too soon.  Tim rushed to the airport to catch a flight home to commence the Security Summit (I really do love how men think)...but was waylaid by some trouble of his own.  i'll wait to let him fill you in on that bit.  but overall, the experience has left me properly chastised for my resistance to door locking, and a firm believer in non-monitored alarm systems.  i'm afraid you and your sons and your son in law have so carefully influenced me to embrace the DIY movement.  you could NEVER get me to pay someone money just to be sure i properly maintain my alarm, i'd be working from them every day, having to drop all my bags and race to the alarm so as not to disturb the poor alarm workers.  give me my pellet gun, and let's go glue glass shards along the back yard.  i'm not sure that if you were here i'd be all that interested in your opinion -- you probably wouldn't be so keen on the "rogue" approach.  But maybe if i got on my bike and you got on your running shoes, i'd at least fully understand how i feel about it by the time we've gone our 5 miles, and you'd be smiling, to watch your daughter come to a place of confidence just through her own time to talk out loud in the ears of a dad who never belittled or judged.

* Roxy died on the 5th month of your death.  Two weeks before, I had started calling her my hospice dog as i knew the only way i was going to take her in to the vet was is she was clearly suffering.  not suffering, her, but me suffering, yes.  everytime i reached down to scratch her little chin to see if she was alive, i felt what it was like to be reaching for you, to see if you were still with me.  I so wanted more of you -- and so little of her.  Everything else about her dying was like re-living yours.  Small scale, of course.  I had to keep it in a box because I was just getting to a place where thoughts of your dying process, and our current loss, were not at the foundation of every day. Its been nice to be able to breathe a little, to tackle my job and this new two-life-project with some recent energy.  I couldn't let a little weinerdog take me back under.  But whew!  Thanks to our true blue friend ulisses, Roxy was in good hands.  just today we learned that ulisses' other half, Nicole, was there for the service and some gentle words were given on her behalf.  And she is place north to sough, face and paws toward the west, to keep her eyes on the house.  God rest litlle dauschund soul.

*Arcadia business continues to improve.  If you were here, you'd be so good to ask about our growth, and we'd talk about numbers, and I'd probably get into the excitement of finally having a solid block of girls who want what we can give -- lots of classes and companionship, and help to structure their work so they don't get out of balance or overwhelmed.  I truly love this work.  and as I say this you would say something about how you think I'm good at it, then I would ask why, then you'd pause to think, then, well,  hmmm, we'd find some angle, some spin on your thoughts that would leave me feeling that i was probably a great pic to try just about anything, after i spent time with you when we would speak about work, I always had this sense that you truly, deeply believed in my competence to tackle anything.  That often meant the conversation had kinda come to a natural conclusion, and so tim would come in and disiss me.  and then you'd be off in la-la-happy plane land.  Two good ment.  Giving eveything their skilss would allow to nurture the girls they loved.

- Spanish class continues.  Love it.  will be over May 10 so I will  be so ready to get to extend our texas visits to about 10 days.

*that's about it for now.  friend is staying with us, til her house sells.  learning is a good thing.

so i have typed past my sleep medications picking in ....can't wasit to see what awaits me in the mornign.

No comments:

Post a Comment