the good, the bad, and the ugly

Today dawned another beautiful, clear, and cold day. My father and I walked our family’s favorite 3 mile route. While I walked with him I remembered how he used to run – used to run miles and miles, near every day. His ability to run was taken from him because of the medicine he’s on. I wondered how many more walks I’d have with him. I actually pray: I hope so many more years. He is precious to me. He has so many ideas now and is working to see some of them brought to fruition. He asks me if I want to be involved in a neighborhood canvassing he’s going to do. Yesterday, he helps me print my zine. We talk about all sorts of things, bit and small; when I listen to him now I listen for wisdom, because this is him offering it. Sometimes what he has to offer is silly or human or wrong-headed. I see him in a new light and appreciate all he has to offer.

Today I thought about how once my parents got back from their trip to the Lake we all joined back up as a family. My mom, despite a lack of sleep, asked the children over to help her install Christmas boughs in her living room (she’s using holiday decorating to liven her mood). We work and flow as a family and even if toes get stepped on now and then, we respect one another and show affection in ways that we did not do years ago. I am glad I moved close to my family. It feels draining not because my parents exhaust me, but because the weight of my father’s illness sullies my every evening in my home. However, the days and minutes I spend with them are a joy and I am daily grateful for them.

I wish I had more to write, more of my trademark foul-mouthed anecdotes that helped me get some readership started years ago. Or something wise and smart to say. I feel tapped out and sad today, even though it was a lovely day really. I feel sad because a few hours ago I learned of a misunderstanding and ugliness on the Thanksgiving holiday, the holiday I worked so hard for (I love how my brother told me – in jest I think – that no excuses, the kitchen is my domain and if something fails, it’s my responsibility). I feel sad because my father is sick and I will never escape feeling sad about this for such a long time. I feel sad because I can’t stop feeling sad at night.

I feel grateful for my children and my husband. I spoke with Ralph this morning about resentment. I told him I didn’t want him to resent my time with my family. I told him, and I tell him daily, how preoccupied I feel. That does not however exonerate me from the responsibilities in my marriage; to have and to hold. I do have him and I do hold him. Beard and all, heh heh.

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