No hubby. No Iggy. But I still have Daddy.
Just last week, Daddy looked like he was ready to quit this world. His right leg was dragging behind him and his head was at half-mast, resting on his shoulder. Christi, again suspecting a stroke, called for sibling backup, because it takes three of us to get Daddy’s incredibily shrnking body and spirit to the doctor. A few days later, and one steriod shot and two maintenance drugs subtracted, Dad is more like Dad’s old self, albiet five pounds lighter. And while still disconnected with dementia, Daddy is at least plugged in to life, again his normal anxious self, and again trying to communicate with the world, but for that tied up tongue of his.
Meanwhile, I’ve come unplugged. I’ve had no interest in writing. So I haven’t. I went to a party on Sunday and moved about the room not really connecting with anyone. I was just a bystander, watching the parade of a party go by, as I cut cake and served it. Then I came home incredibly sad.
I wrote about it during Examen. But I never got underneath the feeling to discover its source. I was curious, but not so curious that I wanted to work for the answer. Ignatius calls it desolation. But whatever it’s label, I think I know a little more about how Daddy feels trapped in his body that leaves him disconnected from his world. And I think Daddy is sad about this, just as I was sad. And being sad is so exhausting.
The party day happened to fall on my twenty-third wedding anniversary. Both my husband and I forgot it. I think being disconnected from each other, separated by twenty-four days of time and thirteen time zones fosters forgetfulness. My daughter Kara reminded me, so I dashed off a sad little email wishing Don a happy anniversary — it still was here, though thirteen hours in the future, it was no longer our anniversary when Don opened it a few minutes later. When we fnally connected twelve hours later, Don wished me a happy anniversary, still thinking it was, not realizing he was a day late, his first in twenty-three years. It was sort of comforting to know that I wasn’t the only one disconnected.
I also miss my morning Ignatius exercises, though I’m now reading bits and pieces of ‘spiritual writings’ in the same time slot. A little bit of this, and a little bit of that, like a bee buzzing around way too many flowers. I’ve sipped a little Evelyn Underhill, more of of Thomas Merton, less of St. Augustine, and have finally landed on Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s The Sacrament of the Present Moment.
It seems good medicine for a person unplugged.