Saturday, January 13, 2007

Two Places at Once

Hard to concentrate in TKD this morning. My mind was in two places at once.

Before class, I'd called over to hospice to check on my Dad again. I call on days that my brother can't get over.

The nurse said that he's resting pretty calmly now--before he's had some restlessness, and had fallen twice while trying to get out of bed.

"He's sleeping, but you can tell he's working through some things in his unconscious," she told me. "His face gets animated, though his eyes are closed, and he sometimes reaches out with his hand."

She said this was a stage many people went through as they were dying.

Apparently, he's not talking anymore, nor is he very responsive to them when they talk. Just a week or so ago, I talked to him on the phone, very briefly, and he talked about my mom. "I don't know what I'm going to do without her," he told me. Now he's not talking at all.

"In the next stage, he'll be more peaceful," said the nurse

They will call me when he gets close to the end.

It seems ironic that I'm working toward this black belt at the same time that my father is moving inexorably towards death. Two journeys, simultaneous, in different places, towards different goals.

When my mother had her stroke, I had just started taking ballet as an adult. I used to get to the stretch on the barre and sometimes feel stunned that I could put my leg up on a barre, while my mother was in a coma, and later paralyzed on the left side. Every time it stopped me for a moment, and then I'd dedicate the stretch to my mom.

I wish I were at a point where I could just dedicate this black belt journey to my Dad, or both my parents. Right now, I'm just torn between the two places I want to be.

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