Friday, May 18, 2012

Dad … selfless devotion


I got home from the hospital last night around 11:30pm. Normally (although there’s nothing really normal at this time) I take Dad home first then I drive the 40 minutes to my home, but he wanted to stay with his wife at the hospital and not leave her. It was hard to leave him there.

She’s been in the hospital for over two weeks now. My Dad has been there with her, sitting in his chair by her side every single day from 8am until after 8pm when I take him home. Every day, 12 hours a day, sitting there with her. It breaks my heart to sometimes arrive at the hospital in the evening and see him sitting there alone, although I know other family members have been there before me. I’m humbled by his devotion and love. My heart is shattered that he will be losing her soon.

More than almost anyone I know, Dad has this beautiful capacity for living fully and completely in the moment. A couple of weeks ago, I was asked if he realized she might not come home this time. But Dad doesn’t consume himself with “what ifs.” He doesn’t get lost in worry and thereby lose the present moment. At this moment, his wife is still here on this side and so he talks to her, strokes her arm and face, calls her “Sugar” and simply loves her through this.

She was a little responsive last night after they moved her and took her off all meds except those that will keep her comfortable now. She could speak a little and look at him, at her daughter and her grandsons. She looked at me at the foot of her bed and said hello. I blew her kisses and told her I loved her.

Dad has barely left her side these past weeks, not eating much, not wanting to leave her. Such beautiful, loving, profound devotion! He stands by her bed and talks to her, tells her she needs to get well and come home … come home … come home … He comforts her, reassures her, keeps devoted watch over her … right now … cherishing the present moment while all else stands still.