Saturday, December 13, 2008

Waiting...

This isn't going to be much of a post. After urging others to post daily with me, I was a dropout in the December challenge yesterday. My mind has been too distracted. My 96 yr old father has been admitted twice to the hospital since yesterday morning. It isn't clear what the problem is yet, but it sounds serious, he is after all 96. Since it's on the other side of the country, there's nothing for me to do but wait for phone calls. My AMAZING sisters, Ingrid and Tiina have been keeping me well posted.

It's been a bit of a reflective day as well. My father has a constitution of steel. He's had TB, heart attacks, a stroke, prostrate cancer and has bounced back from all of that miraculously well to become his good, old mellow self again in record time. And mellow he is. When he was a boy, his mother saw him lying on the grass,looking down at something,completely motionless. When she went to him, he was staring at a wild strawberry, red ripe on one side and green on the other. He said he was watching the strawberry and waiting for it to ripen and remained there for hours. Sometimes, when I'm thinking about role models for zen like patience, I forget there has been one part of my life all along.

So as I'm waiting for some word from thousands of kilometers away, I realize whatever happens, all I wish for is for his comfort. 96 is a good, long life. If you were to choose the length of your life, what would you choose? Could you choose? Or would your thoughts immediately shift to how meaningful you make that life. If you were able to accomplish much of what you wanted and experienced the full joy and richness of life by the time you were 60, would you want to live to 110. These thoughts occurred to me yesterday morning when reading Edward Winkleman's blog post The Immortality Paradox. I've just started reading his blog, it' s a great read about art, the art world and the art market (high end). This post was more philosophical about post-human ideals, the conquering of death and extending life spans to 1000 yrs and the moral argument surrounding the desire for immortality. It's an interesting read, the comments even more so.

16 comments:

Tracy said...

I think you should get a pass for missing yesterday (um like it's up to me:)

Hope your dad will be ok, but wow! 96! that is awesome. I know it's tough living so far away during these sorts of things. My mom died last year and even though I was able to see her before, mostly all I could do was wring my hands 2000 miles away when it actually happened.

Melody said...

Thinking of you Ellen and sending good vibes your way

my croft said...

Life happens. Forgiveness, that most difficult of all practices, of self and others is the key.
I hope things go well for your father. It's a blessing your sisters are able to be with him and are keeping you posted.

fondly,
melanie

self taught artist said...

what a great story about your father as a boy, that kind of took my breath away....and what a great attitude you have without all the drama. 96 is unimaginable! i hope for him and you all that he can get through this without suffering. my thoughts are with you.

p.s. i've had my love hate relationship with the 'W' blog. glad you found it though, it's a good one to know about.

andrea said...

Sorry to hear you're in a holding pattern. Never easy. But it sounds like you're on the right track, philosophically, about it all. Keep us posted and I'm wafting good vibes your way.

Ellen said...

Thanks SO MUCH everyone for your kind thoughts. As for updates, it's just a matter of time right now for his passing/death, (why do we have such trouble using the word so directly when it applies?) Thank god for the invention of morphine and am feeling so blessed to have a big, loving family.

I was a bit uncomfortable writing about something personal on my PERSONAL blog (go figure), but glad I did, thanks again for the comments.

Angela Wales Rockett said...

Sorry to hear about your father, Ellen, but it does indeed sound like he had a good long life. And if he followed the example of his younger self with the strawberry (awesome story!), I'm sure it was a very full and rich life as well.

You'll be in my prayers.

my croft said...

dear ellen, thank god for morphine, indeed. and for family.

my heart is with you.
melanie

dinahmow said...

Oh Ellen! This is so hard to deal with. But I, too, send comforting thoughts.May the uncertainty be soon resolved.

Caroline said...

Sending you love and light!

Ellen said...

You are ALL such lovely people! thanks for the warm thoughts. He passed away this morning. So, I'm off for a while.

And Angela, yes, he did carry that attitude with him his whole life, I don't ever remember him getting mad unless it was something on the news. He was a good, kind man, his life will be warmly celebrated this week.

my croft said...

I am so sorry for your loss -- sincerely sorry. It sounds like he was a great, good man.

all best,
Melanie

Melody said...

Much love to you Ellen and your family....my thoughts are with you

dinahmow said...

Ellen, I am truly sorry to learn of your father's passing.
Kind thoughts and love to you and your family.

katie jane said...

Ellen, I am just catching up with you. Please accept my condolences. What a terrible time to be going through this. You are right, however, he had a good, (and amazing it sounds like) long life.

Amanda said...

What a lovely blog post and an intruiging question.