Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kicking A Brick Wall With Slippers On

One step forward, two steps back.

I have been hearing that phrase a lot with regards to my dad, and it makes me think of some 80's pop song. My dad is still in the ICU, now with a breathing tube back in.

Two nights ago we had a particularly sharp discussion with a neurologist, and I was left reeling with the Missing Feeling. (See: I Am Watching A Boat Outside My Hotel Window In Seattle). I could hardly say goodbye to my dad that night. I looked at him and had a tightening in my chest as if I had just discovered my car had been stolen.

I thought of him wearing his stripped Polo shirts and I pictured him puttering around in the backyard. The memories of when my dad were OK became so overpowering that I could scarcely get a breath of air to go down my clenched throat. I thought about sitting by the fire and chatting about business travel together. I thought about the nights when Dad would come to my apartment in Uptown, just to hang out.

This Missing Feeling was drenched with a sense of powerlessness at the inevitable 10,000 mile journey ahead of us. I wanted to find a short cut and pull my dad out of the burning building in the nick of time. The more I allowed this feeling to overtake me, the more I felt as though I was bound in a straight jacket in a white room with no windows. The more I thought, the more it hurt. I was trying to get myself to stop, but I couldn't. Inside it was,

"No, he's MINE, give him back, GIVE HIM BACK."
It was like kicking a brick wall with slippers on.

I want to knock that wall down, but I can't do it. And the more I try, the more it hurts.

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