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, October 4, 2011


hi dad.

today tim is 48.  It's hard to believe that he's almost 50.  50 seems so old when life is still so slippery, so hard to digest.  like grandpa told me a year before he died, you never stop needing to grow.

texas continues.  when (and how) will the adventure end?  sometimes i'd just like to hit the pause button, other times i want to rip the dvd out of the player and chuck it out the window to be crushed when the trash truck comes.

i still can't bear to contact mrs. cherry.  seems i can't fathom it unless tim can come too.

i continue to be amazed at my limitations for living extended times without tim in the room.  8 days has come to be my natural, near comfortable limit.  what sucks is that he can go for weeks in a well-adapted solo rhythm, buying groceries for himself, fixing chicken dinners, running, working 10 straight hours a day, taking out the trash, not locking himself out of the house.  his main glitch seems to be washing the striped, fitted sheet to the king sized bed.  not bad, all things considered.

i like not thinking about you every day. the dying you, that is to say.  i like not feeling the constant weighty presence of fresh grief.  but forming instead is a vague new longing.....a sense of all that could have been had you been a 60-something HEALTHY dad.  along with the sadness is a frustration, for despite my obsession with fiction, i have a terrible imagination.  i wonder if i should nurture the ability to create mental scenes of what will never be, or just leave well enough alone.

i can't wait for the day when photos of the sick you seem completely foreign to me.  and photos of the healthy you take me back to the simple joys of growing up with you as my dad.  it was a privilege to live so close to such a hopeful, optimistic, honorable man.  i do so wish you could still be here.  i'd build a new, spacious room for you in my heart.  Create a sensibly luxurious spot for you in our tiny studio space -- the moment you would ask.  i'd happily share my life, my space, my time, my skills.  sick or strong, i promise i'd try REALLY hard not to hold back.  just come back home to me.

if heaven can wait for all of us here, it could wait again for you.  i wouldn't keep you here forever.  just a year or two, or more.  we have a lot of birthdays yet to endure, and i'd really rather not do them without you.

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