The 37th Day…1,095 days later

It has been a bit over 3 years since Dad crossed over to the ancestors, and almost 2 years since Mother joined. I was looking back at previous January posts, seeing what was going on then, and the 37th Day was my last post at the original Suzassippi’s Lottabusha County Chronicles.

January 14, 2018

I am propped up in Dad’s bed, eyes scanning the gravel drive for Dad’s doves.

He always watched them pick at the bits of rock for their craw,
flying up to rest on a limb before alighting for another round.

The tree branches are bare, grasses brown and covered with the last of the fall leaves.
Sun is shining today, scattering faux diamonds amidst the icy blades of little prisms
reflecting hope back to the window.

This view was Dad’s world for the last 5 years.  A Mirror of his changing mind,
dually kind and cruel.
A hunter by necessity as well as sport in his younger years, his thinking evolved as his disease progressed.
One day I remarked,

Look at all those dove–

 I should get one and cook it for dinner.

No!  I like to watch them, we can’t eat them!

I guess we’ll have chicken then.

I have slept in here for 8 nights now, my gaze settling on every angle from one position moving only my head or eyes.
While I cannot comprehend his perception, I experience every thing–the sounds, the cold or warmth, the leaves blowing across the yard.
Trucks one after the other whizzing east to Jacksboro and beyond
heading west into Graham from nearby farms and ranches.

I will take Mother to the doctor this afternoon and listen as she tries to explain she ‘is not any better’ and she ‘cannot stand this much longer.’
It is easy to feel her hopelessness and helplessness in the face of change–to her.

I wonder what causes some people
to seek the magic bullet for every life challenge
While others just shift into low or high gear and start the climb up or the descent down.
Dad was always the stoic one–just doing what had to be done because it had to be done.
No point in whining or complaining–neither got the job finished.
In the end, he sought the simple pleasures of watching the dove strut and feed,
commenting on how pretty the flowers or Mother looked.

Until the last few weeks, he laughed more, regaled us with his stories of growing up,
his years in India and China during World War II–something he had never talked about,
of being a young father, struggling to make ends meet, wanting a better and kinder life for his children.
It was as if all the joy and fun he never permitted himself came bubbling up when the time came he could no longer work.
Sis and I reveled in it, understanding how it mattered to him and to us, folding and tucking those moments into our heart pockets.

Once again we face uncharted territory as we (and Mother) enter this new stage of the unknown.

I have spent a lot of time of late pondering how we have disenfranchised our brain from reality until it is like an engine backfire.
Wires crossed, frayed, shorting out from overload
No longer able to repair and reconnect overnight because there’s no dark anymore to permit regrouping and healing.
No reset button due to chemicals and drugs to regulate everything.
A gentle loss of coping capacity or willfulness that eased into our lives and now entrenched,
controls us to the point that half of us cannot think how to solve a problem
and would rather blurt out an accusation of blame or mindless ‘explanation’ for all that’s gone wrong than spend time in Mindfulness, seeking understanding of how to become a more effective human being.

Uncharted territory.  We each have to map it as we walk it.

© scwallen01/03/2018
Graham, TX

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14 Responses to The 37th Day…1,095 days later

  1. Pat_H says:

    Almost five for me for my mother, and 28 for my father. Oddly, I feel closer to being in their presence, in a real sense, than I did after they passed away. March of time towards the ancestors, I suppose.

    Like

    • Suzassippi says:

      Sometimes when I have such vivid dreams about them, and others who have passed over, I wonder if it is a message my time is coming. 🙂
      I was fortunate to have them, and my grandparents for a lot longer than most. I do feel a presence with them often, and I can understand your saying that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pat_H says:

        My grandmothers died when I was still fairly young, although I recall both of them. My grandfathers died before I was born, so I know them only by the recollections of others. Still, its sort of the same in that I feel that I know them better than I did years ago.

        This will be a bad reference, due to the nature of the story, but all of this sort of reminds me of the very closing scene of No Country For Old Men in which the sheriff character relates a vivid dream about his father. My son thinks that scene makes no sense at all, but it makes a lot of sense to me.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. That post was full of tenderness and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. socialbridge says:

    How this resonates, Suz.
    Presence is something that I feel on a constant basis -10 and 11 years after Mother and Dad died.
    I love your description of your father and the doves. It makes me smile as nature can be so incredibly soothing not matter what.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Betty says:

    A heartfelt post. One I can understand – as much as one can understand another’s path – as these days I spend a lot of time with my 98 year old mother. She is ever forgetful and ever cheerful. A treasure and a map for me. Parents have so much influence – all our lives long – and from what I can tell, we both fell on the lucky side of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Suzassippi says:

      Thank you, Betty. I do think we can understand the path of others when we listen. Definitely treasure this time with your mother, as I see that you do. Parents influence is deep, no matter what they do or do not do. To our good fortune–would that all children and adult children had that!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Beth says:

    Thank you for re-sharing this post. It is beautiful. We do map our lives as we walk, there is no GPS. We find our own way.

    Liked by 1 person

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