Sunday, mom’s day, I was visiting my parents. My aunt and uncle were with us. We’d had a great day together, sharing stories, laughing, crying and being together as family. Around ten, mom took my elderly dad into the shower for his evening wash. I heard an animal sound, rushed in to see my dad slumped over his stool. I threw a towel to my shocked mom as my aunt and uncle came running. I got mom out of there and my aunt, uncle and I picked up my dad’s lifeless body. He was white, cold and thin. I was thinking to myself, “Thank God I’m here. This is “It.””
Dad literally left his body. I could see it, feel it. “Okay, I can do this. I can handle this. I’m strong.” This was going over and over in my mind like a warped record as we were wrestling his limp, dead-weighted body. We were trying to lift him out of the shower and put him on his walker seat to move the body. My aunt leaned down and said, “Breathe Lyle, breathe.” And like a Hollywood movie, his chest heaved deeply expanding his ribcage, and air filled his lungs. Several minutes had passed from the original moans, to mom’s exiting, to us moving him. Here he was back in his body.
Everything happened so quickly it was phenomenal. “In” one minute, “out” the next, and back “in” after several. An amazing experience. Within thirty, he had color and was talking, quipping, telling us he hadn’t bothered talking to St. Peter, he wasn’t interested…yet.
Bigger picture: dad graduated from hospice over a year ago. We have had an extra year and three/quarters with him. He’s lived at least 12/13 extra lives this go-round, surviving incredible odds, accidents, body failings. He is such a testiment to the power of positive beliefs and thinking. And yes, he is back with hospice as his heart is literally tired. Fortunately I have had the ability to stay and help my mom, spend quality time with my dad, writing down memorable moments. It’s all too easy to forget those special exchanges in the aftermath of a near passing.
The good news he is definitely an integral part of the circle of life, living a good, happy nearly 87 years. That’s the way it should be in a perfect circle.
I want to rejoice when he does take his final breath, a celebration of a life well-lived, a toast to a true rebel. I will continue to communicate with him – we’ve talked about that- but I will miss him.
May you spend time with those you love. Life is but a blink of a very fast eye, the circle closing all too quickly.
Make your circle always sparkle with daily gratitude.
Cosmic sunshine to you.