the 7/10 split - jun 18th, 2011

I was visiting my dad last week. He had just turned 91 and the morning of our third day together he suffered what physicians refer to as an event. In layman’s terms, it was a stroke – like a barreling bowling ball that knocks you off your pins, wiping out certain brain circuits, forcing you to go back to work to create new pathways. You have to relearn basic functions – how to touch your nose, lift your leg, scratch the back of your neck, swallow, talk . . . Yeah, it’s familiar territory, but still it’s a daunting task, especially at 91 years of age. Some people just give up. Not my dad.
It was interesting for me to be present for this. My dad has always been there for me, teaching me by example all my life. I watch him closely in order to guide my own decisions and actions. That is the role of a parent, to go before. So it was an honor to be there for him this time when he needed me. To try and help him, to take control when he had none. I was watching him deal with this . . . this 7/10 split – and learning all the while. The years relentlessly continue to pile up for me too and, chances are, I may have to face this myself someday.