Friday, September 23, 2005

There Are No Words…

Never have words seemed more inadequate than they do this week. The sudden reversal in my Dad’s health surprised us all in spite of the head-knowledge that it was to be expected sooner rather than later. It was Dad’s habit of defying expectations throughout his illness that led us to expect an indefinite extension of the cycle of crisis and rally. Just last Saturday, while I was on the phone with my sister catching up on the latest developments, Dad was up walking around slow and careful with his walker.
He was still speaking too. He said to Mom how he wished he could go outside to see the pumpkin. He was referring to the Pumpkin my sister’s boy has been nurturing all summer. Mom said that she wished he could see it too. But she did not offer to take him out to see it. She was sure that the excursion into the back yard, which entailed descending some stairs would just be too much for him. Seeing that Mom was not going to help grant this simple wish and knowing he no longer had the verbal competency to debate with her, he just left the room. Watching him progress down the hall towards their bedroom, Mom thought he must be heading back in to lay down as he had already be up for some time. But he came back just moments later with his straw hat on his head and wordlessly headed for the back door.
Mom followed after to assist him on the stairs. And so did my sister since a nearly blind woman with a history of sciatica should not be the primary support of a frail man steering a walker down some stairs. My sister and I had to say quick good-byes and I didn’t learn until the next day that Dad had made it safely down to the garden, where he spent the next hour or more beaming blissfully as he watched the pumpkin grow. Even this wordoholic is forced to acknowledge thatometimes words are unnecessary.

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