I rushed to Louisiana last week to be with my father, who had taken a bad turn while in the hospital being treated for injuries sustained in a terrible accident.
The nights were long. I slept/didn’t sleep on the pleather couch while Dad struggled fruitlessly to find comfort from the 10 broken ribs stabbing his insides every which way. At one point, as I stared at the popcorn ceiling waiting for him to need a sip of water or simply a reminder of where he was, he said to me: Tricia, don’t blog me. I nearly laughed out loud.
“Dad,” I said. “I would never do that.”
“Just promise me,” he said, nearly desperate. “Promise you won’t blog me.”
And here I am, blogging him.
What he meant, though – I hope – is that he didn’t want me to write about the intimacy required to turn oneself over to another for the most basic kind of care.
I won’t blog about that.
But I can’t help writing about my tough old man, who fought through pain and statistics and unthinkable complications to return to us nearly whole. Today, three weeks and one day after the accident, doctors released him from the hospital, and right this minute he’s at home, sitting in a comfortable chair on the porch and watching the sunshine making splattered shadows on the patio bricks. Therapy, rehab and inevitable frustration loom ahead on the final leg of this journey, but it seems doable.
I must tell you, though – it’s hard to say that and only that. My writer mind lifts the details of my life story like Silly Putty, then I squeeze and bend it into something special – the truth, but more so, maybe.
One day soon I hope Dad and the rest of my family will feel comfortable with a recounting of the past 22 days. For now, though, I must thank you all for your thoughts and words of support. My dad’s back home where he belongs.
Sorry, Dad. I blogged you. But just a tiny bit.