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Sunrise at Spider Rock

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pop and Shela

She has tried to do it before. I think it will stick this time. My stepmother called early this afternoon.  My father was put in a permanent home yesterday up in Fresno. He is a sweet old guy now, but we are all visitors in terms of the conversation going on inside the old man's head. He barely walks, in little staccato tip toes, shuffling in terms of centimeters rather than inches. He loves his wife and she loves him but she simply can't care for him anymore. He is too old and too frail and too far gone. Frankly I can tell it's killing her. But she has given her life to this man.

She has done so much and I am so blessed for her being there, the last few years being exceedingly hard on her as my father slid farther and farther into his private personal place. Thank you Shela. You have done everything you could possibly do and I salute your love and the work you have done with this once brilliant and sometimes difficult man.

You have exceeded all possible expectations and measures and more.

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Life is a bittersweet road. The truth is that you are going to endure losing every person that you have ever loved, unless of course you are lucky enough to go first.

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I am not going to write my Dad's eulogy. He could outlive me. I will say that we never had much of a relationship until I was about 13 and then things got bad for several years. I never quite turned out the way he wanted me to. But at a certain point we put our knives away, drew a line in the sand and moved forward. As father and son and friends.

We get one run around the block in this life and there is no dress rehearsal and none of us even have a real clue what is actually going on.

You are young and you look up to your parents in their thirties and think they have all the answers and know how everything works in their infinite wisdom. Then you hit your forties yourself and you realize you never really got out of the dark.

I salute my parents and my step mother. We all gave it our best shot.