An outstretched hand reaches across space and time never knowing if it will remain empty or find fingers intertwined in it again.
Sometimes you get lost wondering about the if, how, what or when and sometimes you accept you won’t ever know the answer until the final bell sounds and there can be no mistake in understanding.
Sometimes Your Heart Knows & Sometimes It…
I am not someone who gives up on anything with of value and importance with ease. I play hard to the end and sometimes beyond.
That doesn’t make me special, it just makes me human.
It is why I doubt my father will ever come to Texas again and why I think last January is his final time here.
He is human and though the chemo is working I don’t think his body will match his will. I think without the benefit of a private jet it will be too hard to get here.
It would be wonderful to be proven wrong. I would be good with that, but I am ok if I am right too.
Ok, because I would prefer he focus his energy on fighting and since it is not endless he should do so at home.
It is not like he didn’t get a chance to see what our life is like here.
I sometimes wonder if I somehow knew something when he and mom came to visit this past winter.
Can’t say for certain, but I made a point to ask if he wanted to spend a day working with me and it is one of my favorite memories.
We drove all over the Metroplex and he got to see what my life was like here in a way that I can’t just describe in words.
It was an ordinary day in about every way you can imagine. There weren’t any special calls or crises to handle.
He and I talked about everything.
I asked if he remembered the handful of times I went to work with him ‘cuz much of it is vivid to me.
It is easy to remember sitting in the front seat of the car, lunchbox on my lap while I looked out the window and wondered if adults got recess.
I remember his having to make an important telephone call and how I had to go sit outside his office.
That felt like magic to me, looking out at the buildings in downtown LA. I was about eight but remember that magic feeling must be what it was like to be 16 or so.
For a moment I was out in the world, on my own and though I could see dad through the window it was like he was far away.
I appreciated his trust and was careful not to wander off which was something I was quite good at, hell I still am.
Something catches my eye and I go investigate whatever it is without any regard for time passing ‘cuz I get lost in my world and time stops.
Since we had already had a ton of barbecue I took dad to Deli News for a late lunch and for a moment time blurred.
He walked ahead of me, cane in hand and I followed close enough to catch him if need be.
Except it wasn’t me and him, it was my grandpa with the cane and dad just behind him and then we sat down and time snapped back into the present.
I watched him eat his matza ball soup and realized I had worn him out a bit. Part of me felt foolish because I know he isn’t in his thirties or forties anymore.
Hell, I know fifty is a long time ago and that much has changed, but he made it easy to forget because he just did what he wanted.
Maybe he moved more slowly, but he got out of the house, ran errands and traveled. He always moved at his pace so why should now be any different.
Play The Hand Out
We’re five or is it six days into the latest hospital stay and dad tells me he is bored.
We talk about the latest outrage from our president and I tell dad he needs to stick around for a while.
“You know this asshole is going to find a way to shock us again. You need to stick around and see what it is. Hell, he has a horrible diet, you might be around long enough to see two, or three more presidents.”
Dad laughs and I tell him I never thought I would refer to the president this way.
“I have some people who say I complain too much about him on Facebook.”
“Are you forcing them to read what you say? If they are not smart enough to ignore it and move on, fuck ’em.”
That makes me smile ‘cuz it has a familiar edge. It means dad is right there with me and that hasn’t always been the case.
There have been moments where I heard the exhaustion in his voice and wondered.
Can’t hold my breath and worry each day, but can’t ignore it all either.
Don’t know exactly how, what or when it all goes but know I have to do exactly what he and grandpa always said, “play the hand out.”
There Is Still Hope & There Is Joy
There was a time of marathon telephone calls and endless emails in which many conversations were had.
A time when many thoughts and ideas were shared and when I began to learn some of the great lessons of my life.
That is when I began to understand the difference between want and need as well as how they might intersect.
It is when I found out how powerful certain thoughts and ideas are and how they might influence and shape lives.
In the midst of the craziness and this is craziness I look at that time and recognize some of the strength I have now is a direct result.
It is part of why I can see so clearly there is still lots of hope and there is still joy.
When I was quite little I used to sometimes wear a cape and run around the house yelling “I have got my power.”
I asked dad if he remembered and he said yes.
“Hang 0n a bit and I’ll be back in town and you can either see it again or you can have some of my power, I’ll share.”
I felt him smile and listened as he told me he needed to get some rest, guess I am still wearing my old man out. 🙂
There are still cards to be played before we reach that last hand.
Can’t say whether we’ll pull aces or jacks.
Can’t say whether we’ll hit a full house or wind up empty handed.
Won’t know until it is done and until then we play hard.