Saturday, March 13, 2010

It’s not the destination…

Father and daughter's the journey.

I don't know who originally said that, but I know it from my Dad as one of his favorite sayings.

As I go through the process of saying goodbye to Dad, I think of that phrase. That is the way Dad lived his life, not dwelling on the inevitable reaching of the destination, but on enjoying his long journey through this life. And it has been a long one...he would be 87 in June.

Dad isn't gone yet, but for all intents and purposes, he is no longer with us. On Thursday, he suffered a massive stroke while he and Mom were staying with my Aunt Marie here in Florida. They got him to the hospital very quickly, and a CAT scan showed that the stroke was caused by a clot. This made him a good candidate for that "clot buster" drug, so Mom gave the okay for that. A subsequent CAT scan showed extensive bleeding in his brain, and even surgery would not have meant a good outcome. The damage was just too severe.

My sisters and I and my niece flew down on Friday, and after speaking with the doctor as soon as we got to the hospital, we agreed with my Mom that we would go no further in his treatment. Since we all made the decision, Mom won't have to bear the brunt of that decision alone. I believe it was the right thing to do, and Dad and Mom had already talked about such a thing, and even he and I had talked about it. He didn't want to be left lingering in a vegetative state any more than any of us would.

We have said our goodbyes, and now we are simply waiting for him to take that bigger step of his journey. It's only a matter of time. I'm terribly sad, as you can imagine, but I'm also resigned...and I also know that he had a great life with many adventures along the way. I'm sure I'll write more about Dad before too long, but for now suffice it to say that he was well-loved, well-respected, and it has been my honor to be his youngest daughter.

I'm writing this because I'm a little too wired to go to sleep just yet, because it helps me to try to put it into words, and because I hope I can convey a little bit about what a damn fine guy was my Dad.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Baby, you can drive my car

Slick4 But only if I love you.

Things are getting spring-like around here, with warmer temperatures and a fair amount of sunshine. I've noticed a few sprouts springing up in the woods, crocuses and miniature daffodils. (I only remember what they are because I remember where I planted them. They're only about an inch high right now, popping up through the layer of leaves.)

When the weather breaks, a young Beth's fancy turns to...getting in my car and hitting the road, baby!

No, I didn't do a road trip or anything, but one of the things I wanted to do on Sunday was get my car washed, to get all the salt and winter grime off of it. Instead of heading right over to the car wash, I drove downtown and up by Notre Dame...just happy to be out in my car, out in the sunshine, listening to some good music. I was even able to roll the window down a little bit, and that made me even happier. Since it was a Sunday, I suppose I was technically a Sunday driver, although I didn't behave that way. In fact, I got a little frustrated with people doing 30 in a 35 zone and started zipping around a bit...but that's what makes driving my car so much fun. It goes. There was also a little bit of language, mostly consisting of "WTF, people?!" I didn't use the acronym, though.

After the car wash, my car just looked so handsome that I had to take some pictures. I love my Pony. Got a little dirty again coming up the driveway (things are melting and mushy), but it's important to get the salt off of it.

Does anyone else find those big whirling dervish brushes in the car wash a little creepy? It seems like they sort of loom and then lunge at you. They don't send me into a panic attack or anything, but I do find them a little unsettling. Has anyone ever written a horror story about a car wash gone bad? If Stephen King can write about a haunted laundry press, I would think a car wash could work. Think of one of those dangly, fleshy blue strips slithering in through a space between the window and door frame, touching you on the cheek, running down your neck, all cold and slimy and soapy...hey, that's got possibilities!

Pardon my disjointedness. I'm actually tired and need to sleep soon. Too much excitement and fresh air today. Ha!

Watched the Academy Awards tonight...don't always do that, but there was nothing else on and didn't feel like watching a movie. I look forward to seeing more of these movies, especially "Precious"...I think the only one nominated for best picture that I've seen so far was "District 9." (Loved it.) I was happy to see that Jeff Bridges won for best actor, because I've liked him for years. I cracked up at his acceptance speech, because he frequently punctuated sentences with "man." As in "thank you, man" and "I love you, man." I found it charming and retro. Uh that I think about it, sometimes I say "man" at the end of my sentences. Oh well, I suppose there are worse things to be than retro.

Seeing him made me want to watch "The Big Lebowski" again, and I went looking for it. I could have sworn that I had a copy of that, but I couldn't find it anywhere! Augh! I looked twice, and it's nowhere to be found. I'll have to remedy that, because I love that movie. The Dude abides.