Western education 2013

Monday, February 20, 2012

....... about a dozen drafts later.....

.... and I finally sit down to write the final copy.  These past few months have been stressful and wonderful.  A time for reflection and a time to search the soul for a new direction.

I have been sorting out my Dad's stuff and making sure they get down to laundry to get marked.  I find a few things that belong to another resident jammed into the haphazardly arranged closet.  I check names and make sure the worker in the hallway receives the items, one of which is the clipboard belonging to the programs department.  I chuckle when I find the twisted hanger my father used for a belt the one day he needed to keep his pants up.  Some days he uses his ties or whatever seems to be at hand.  All in all though, he is starting to cozy in to his room where his belongings from home now reside.  I know I can find the TV remote in his dresser or tidied into a sock in the nightstand.  One day while putting his underwear back in the drawer, I tripped across a pair of ladies shoes tucked neatly under the baseboard heater.  I handed them to Dad to give him a mission of finding the owner while the maintenance worker helped to mount his new TV.  He came back in a few minutes later and announced that they actually fit... or at least would have, if,  he claimed - his toes weren't so uncooperative.  Looking down, I duly noted the sandals on his feet were a few sizes too small and his stocking toes did indeed exceed the ends of the shoes.  We both laughed like idiots!!!   A while later a disgruntled man promptly held out my Dad's sweater at arm's length and announced that the item was found on HIS wife's bed.  He didn't wait for the thank you as he stormed out with a disgusted look on his face..... I often catch him eying my father suspiciously and with distain.

I was always my Dad's buddy.  No matter what he was doing, when he was home, I was not far behind.  He slammed the hood on my fingers one day when I was 4 after we finished working on his 1970 Chevy Impala.  That day became the day my father introduced me to his secret stash of dark chocolate.  I realize now that this stash was like gold to a minor...  but keeping him out of the dog house with Mom seemed to be more important.  It would be our little secret.  I would receive the special treat a few more times before my teens came along.  Once for the head that opened up when a swing hit it - I believe my Dad had a whole lot more treats than me, and judging from the shock of the incident, he seemed to need it more than me.  It is me that now brings the treats and for no apparent reason other than I love my Dad.

I had my Dad at the coffee shop yesterday and I realized as I watched him wolf down a cookie the size of his plate, that the only thing that really mattered was how I really felt about him.  He always wanted recognition for the work he did and for the kind of person he was.  He was always fun and full of spunk and according to him - quite the chatterbox..... thanks for the flat ass and the constant chattering Dad... I digress...
I looked into his crystal blue eyes that often have that far away look and realized that he enjoyed his life's journey when he could laugh, chat and just be himself.  It is the journey in life and not the destination.  All his awards and diplomas hang on the wall - just paper reminders of the goals he set and achieved.  All things that helped shape who he had become and who is he quickly leaving in his memory.  He is a simple reflection now of a complicated and intelligent man.  He has no more friends, but makes friends easily.  He loves his privacy but is afraid to be alone.  He loves peace and quiet but the noise in the hall reminds him that he is still here. He never really seemed to belong anywhere but yet, everywhere and now that he has much in common with the other residents.... he is still apart and individual from them.

I am so much like my Dad.  Even our hands are identical in shape, look and size.  He doesn't chew his fingers and I don't have crooked tips... but you can tell I am his daughter.  He would often point out the wrongs in our world and in his mid-life, often fought to correct them.  He abhorred politics and the games people played on each other - he was always honest and candid.... again, thanks Dad.

Today is family day and we celebrated by spending time with each other.  Next weekend, I am driving out to my Mother's house and will spend about 4 or 5 days there while we complete packing her things.  My job is to bring back her pets - 2 cats and 1 dog.  She will be putting Titan down next week and Lady will come to live with us.  We pray that the dog fits into our household.  It would be good to bring her out to visit my Dad and my Mom.

The new training season is upon us.  I am looking forward to being back on the lake and competing once again... this time, it won't be just the gold in mind but the journey that takes us to that goal.  I am bringing on a different mindset this season after a few bumps last year.  I was too excited to be involved in such a dynamic environment that I forgot to breathe and just take it all in bit by bit.  Gratefully there were those that understood and loved me for it anyway.  I am blessed for the few friends that I can trust and confide in.  I just had to learn what I wanted and what I would like to have happen this year.  Last week I killed my back and sent it into spasm after the Wednesday work-out.  My blood pressure hit the roof and the pain was enough to send me off to the Doctor's office.  We are now just awaiting blood test results.  She remarked as to how pale I was and instructed me to take it easy for a bit.  After a few days on Aleve, I am feeling much better - hard to admit that I am not superwoman.  I am hoping that the Doctor will tell me that I am low on iron and that I need to be careful not to work out too hard.  I am taking a week off to see my Mom and to catch my breath!!!


MysticalGemini said...

It sounds like you guys had a beautiful day! So glad to hear that you got to enjoy it with your family! Keep your passions alive and remember to relax and enjoy the air! Love you lots! XOXO

Marita said...

I love you too sweet Sarah, Len and Miss Payton. I am missing you all!! Your blog was lovely!! Xoxo