View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Mortality sends a reminder

Last night I went to visit my father at the adult home where he now lives. He was in bed, having suffered from dysentery all day. I kept the visit short.

A little after midnight, I received a call from the home. He had begun to discharge some blood, so they were sending him to a hospital as a precaution.

I decided not to go to the hospital. It did not seem too serious. Besides, what could I do at that hour?

This morning when I woke, our 16-year-old cat was waiting for his breakfast. He has only three teeth left, and has lost so much weight in the last year or so that we call him “Old Bone.” We’ve been expecting him to go any time.

Maggie, my 11-and-a-half-year-old dog was also waiting for breakfast – and her morning walk.

She is limping and walking more stiffly these days. Arthritis. I’ve heard dogs her size tend to live only 12 or so years.

I thought of dad. I wondered how long he has. He’s already been hospitalized twice since mom died in October. He clearly has gone downhill.

I also thought of Nana, 91, losing weight, getting frailer, walking more and more unsteadily, becoming more and more confused in her thinking.

It dawned on me: In 2005, I lost my mother, and Hannah (my daughter’s cat); in 2006 I might face four losses.

I know death is part of the rhythm of life.

As a Christian, I also believe in eternal life, so I know death is a passage to another phase in our spiritual lives.

That provides some comfort. But dulled sorrow is still sorrow.

I went to see dad tonight. The bleeding has stopped. They did a colonoscopy and hope to figure out what caused the bleeding. Dad kept drifting in and out of sleep. When he was awake, he was happy to see me. He apologized for not being good company.

I told him I was glad to be there.

They plan to keep him for a day or two until they figure out what happened. Then he will, hopefully, go back to the home.

But at some point in the future, he won’t be able to go back.

I fear that day is growing closer.


Blogger tom said...

Lee...just went through that sort of thing with ailing parents right before had a heart attack, cardiac cath, stent....then on to rehab in a SNF...then home again....
and yeah, the back of the head has in it that she dodged a bullet, but what about the next time.
Enjoy them while they are here.
Thanks for the link to your site.

10:59 PM  

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