Sunday, April 18, 2010

I've been away...

I'm sorry I've been away from commenting. I was out of town for a couple of days visiting my parents where the internet connection is slow, on a good day. It just makes blogging/reading/writing/commenting painful. So forgive me as I try to catch up!

I feel like I have so much to tell you but it just seems like I am on repeat sometimes. But here goes:

If your parents, or anyone you love but don't tell often enough, are alive and well please go--don't delay--and spend some time with them. I never, ever thought I could be so grateful to sit next to my father and watch a baseball game with him for two hours but I did and I am--so grateful, that is. He was watching and I was in the kitchen baking and he kept calling for me to join him so he could "teach me a few things about baseball!" and so I went, sat down next to him, and watched.

We talked. He commented. We laughed (as much as he can physically, but the emotion was there and real). It felt as much like 'old times' as it possibly could, my Dad watching sports and me, the daughter always wanting him to adore me, sitting next to him, except this time, I wasn't feigning interest. If he had wanted to watch C-SPAN I would have because you see, to just sit and be with him, and spend time with him, and not have him in pain, and not have me in pain because of his pain, was a glorious, glorious thing. It felt so normal, and so nice especially since my last visit home my Dad just laid in the bed the whole time, buried under a fog of depression so heavy threatened to steal him completely from us.

Who would ever have imagined that watching a baseball game could feel so meaningful?

It's so cliche and I recognize that, but I'm going to say it anyway: it's the simple stuff that matters. One year ago I would have never in a million years thought I would have yearned for two hours of simple TV watching and conversation with my Dad, but here I am.

And there we were.

And yes, I watched him walk with his physical therapist. It is painful for him and hard in a way that I cannot even being to imagine.

Or maybe I can.

My body betrayed me, too Dad. Despite years of treating it well.

And he could lay in the bed, paralyzed both literally and figuratively. He could lay in the bed and stare up and the ceiling and waste away while the world keeps on turning.

But he's not.

And neither will I.

I am moving on.

When my Dad walks it is beyond difficult. It takes two people and a walker to help him--one person to get him to standing and then to stay close by in case he falters and another person to help propel the paralyzed leg forward...but he's trying. By God he's trying.

And I am too.

It may take a lot of support and work and effort to help us but I will not remain paralyzed by infertility.

The Mister and I went on a couple of amazing trail runs while home. My parents live on acreage surrounded by the National Forest, where the trees tower over you at 100-150 feet. It was just us and the sounds of our shoes hitting the dirt trail and our labored breathing. Complete and amazing peacefulness. No talks of infertility dominated like the old days where we couldn't get a mile in and the topic would come up as we went round and round about our fate.

This time is was quiet.

As I was getting ready to go on said run I was helping my Dad do leg exercises.

I stood at the foot of my Dad's recliner as he tirelessly worked his right leg. Then it was time to do the left, the paralyzed one.

"But that one's so weak, Pumpkin. So weak."

"I know Dad, but I'm going to help you."

I started to help him bend his leg toward his body and then push it back out against the weight of my body. I was doing the work but it was the action that was important, to stretch his muscles that can so easily become contorted and tight and drawn up and resistant to movement.

I decided to stop helping, just to see.

"Am I doing it Pumpkin?" he asked.

And my God, he was. It was small but it was movement. We all cheered and counted out his repetitions.

"I'm going to go run now Dad." I paused. I didn't want to hurt him. He was the runner in the family, after all. "And I'm going to run a mile for you Dad. Because you taught me how to be a runner."

I will not be paralyzed by this body that on some levels has betrayed me, and on so many others serves me perfectly well. I am taking steps--small, painful, but powerfully significant steps.

Am I doing it?

I think I am.


  1. Wow. What a lovely post. I hope your dad's team won the game. :)

  2. Your words are so powerful and always manage to touch my soul. I'm so glad you were able to spend that special time with your Dad. Some of the most simple days can turn into the most meaningful. I hope your Dad's health continues to improve and I hope you have found a place where you can just "be" for now. Sending happy thoughts your way.

  3. Not to add cliches, but the small steps are necessary for even the biggest journeys. And they can lead to the most wonderful things when you least expect, at least that's been my experience. :)

    I'm so happy to hear of your dad's improvements. What an amazing gift for you all.

  4. Beautifully written! I'm so glad you're getting to spend time with your dad. My dad is a cancer survivor and there was a time it looked like we'd lose him before his time. Now, three years later, there are still times I feel weepy with happiness that I can just talk to him on the phone. You're so right - in the midst of the sadness of infertility, isn't it great to be able to appreciate the good moments life brings us?!

  5. Awesome post; very well-written. I'm glad to hear your dad is taking steps forward, physically and otherwise.

  6. I think you are and I am not surprised. You are your father's daughter. He not only taught you to run, but to fight and persevere and work hard. Go DAD! Go you!

  7. I am so happy to hear that your dad is making progress. Your weekend with your parents sounded so wonderful for you. You are an amazing daughter and I know your parents (and Mr. LC) are so proud of you. Keep running, for you and your dad!

  8. Another beautiful post. I'm so glad you and your dad had a good visit. When I'm with my dad, he loves to play Yahtzee, so we probably play 10-15 games during a weekend. But I'd play 100 if he wanted to - as you know, it's the time spent together that's important.

    And I'm glad to hear that he's making progress with walking, too. I hope he continues to show improvement each day.

  9. Beautiful post! I'm sorry I haven't been around the blogosphere for the last few months. I promise to try and be more regular here going forward.


  10. I love that you have this special relationship with your dad. It warms my heart to see your dad not giving up, to keep trying even under great adversity. You always have seemed full of spunk, though the grief is hard. I get how hard it is, but we keep going on, because what else are we going to do? Go read my recent blog post. It echos some of what you are saying here. Next time I go running, I'll run a mile for your dad too :)

  11. This was such a great post on so many levels. Love it....

  12. What a beautiful post. I had tears in my eyes. You are so right in saying that we must appreciate our loved ones and tell them often how much we love them. It seems your dad is doing better...

    My heart is still aching for you, though...

  13. What a beautiful, loving, heartbreaking yet uplifting post. I'm glad you had this time with him, I'm glad your paralysis is mending along with your father's.

  14. "And I'm going to run a mile for you Dad. Because you taught me how to be a runner."

    This brought tears to my eyes.

  15. Such a beautiful relationship you have with your dad! I am soooo proud of you for not letting IF paralyze you, you are a strong woman! Hugs

  16. Oh this one brought me to total sobs and stirred up a lot of old memories. Good, old memories. So so beautiful. Thanks for sharing this part of your life with us.

    I'd say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Look at both of you continuing to fight in spite of all you have been through and all there is yet to conquer. I'm proud to call you a friend...

  17. Your posts about your Dad always make me cry! And I will never ever stop rooting for either one of you.

    I think B said it best when she wrote: "I'd say the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Look at both of you continuing to fight in spite of all you have been through and all there is yet to conquer."

    Anything else I could say wouldn't come close to doing this interaction between you and your dad justice. *hugs*

  18. Having just failed my 4th IVF, I understand what you mean when you write of "paralysis". I have felt paralyzed by fear, disappointment, and now hopelessness and rage at the injustice. I hope to obtain your state of grace sometime soon. Bless you and yours.

  19. You are doing it... yes, you ARE doing it! What a beautiful, emotional post. Miss you so much!

  20. Your dad's progress is amazing. I'm in awe watching your progress as well.