Tuesday, July 12, 2011
The Child In Thee
"I God Am Thy Playmate
and I will lead
the Child in Thee
Wondrous Ways for
-heard by Mechtild of Magdenbourg, Germany
1314 -1400. A Free Spiritual Woman
Dad has this posted on his bulletin board, drawn in a mix of green, red, orange, yellow and blue magic marker. It immediately catches the eye when you enter his room (9E) at Mrs. Bush's Personal Care Home. It caught mine after a day that started at 7:30, driving to his neurologist in Allentown, then home for an hour, then to his eye doctor. We got back to Mrs. Bush's at 3:30. A long day.
In the car we talk about growing old, dying, doing good work in the world, how good life is, the benefits of oatmeal, all while passing Chevrolet billboards, people talking on phones while driving, wide open corn fields, a hawk on the telephone pole.
I vacillate between holding my breath and crying.
And then laughing.
At the doctor's office I'm whispering,
Breathing in, my whole body is calm.
Breathing out, my whole body is calm.
My heart is full to bursting when we walk slowly to get his x-ray and see the woman in a wheelchair with the oxygen tank.
Dad says, "There but for the grace of God go I."
I say, "I know, I know."
I keep thinking, this is a very weird joke because in my family, I win, hands down, as the most freaked out by hospitals and anything medical.
But here I am, smack in the midst of it. With my Dad.
When Dad says, This is a good life, on the ride home, I about pull over by the bank of orange lilies and weep... with joy and grief and fear of loss and change and longing for change and wanting my Dad to be young again, hiking up the trail ahead of me, carrying my pack when it gets too heavy.