Apr. 28, 2007

A Long and Winding Road

It's been a while since I last posted, but my silence here is more about being caught up in events...

A week ago last Thursday I flew out to Regina to visit my father after his stroke. My flight left at 6:00 AM, with a plane change in Winnipeg (I never have seen more of that city that the interior of its airport!) Both flights were in jets so cramped that my head scraped the cabin ceiling. I went straight from the airport to the hospital to join up with my brothers and my father's girlfriend and kept going until 1:00 AM (3:00 Toronto time).

My Father, at restSeeing my father in the hospital was a shock even though I'd tried to prepare myself. He's largely immobile, with just some control of his left leg and arm. He looks so frail and helpless now! He can communicate, but speech is very difficult for him. He largely confines himself to yes/no gestures. The most he said to me was literally this: "When I turned 65..." Mostly we tried to help him eat and held his hand. There's no question he's "in there" though. I'm sure that as a man who earned his living through words he's terribly frustrated. He doesn't seem to have any significant improvements yet, although I was startled to observe that his right leg moves when he's sleeping.

It was an interesting trip in a lot of ways. It's been at least five years since I've been together with all my siblings (my sister arrived on Saturday) particularly my youngest brother who my father raised in Australia. We had a lot of catching up to do! It was also the first time we'd spent any extended time with my father's girlfriend. I actually stayed with her during my visit, and we talked into the wee hours every night. It was a very intense and emotional time.

Coming back to Toronto on Sunday night I had to dive straight into the meat of getting my house ready to list. First some more packing but then I switched to filling the shipping container that will hold all my non-essentials until I move into my new place. Lots of furniture was simply dragged to the curb where it was harvested by junk collectors of various stripes, including a large and extremely heavy sofa-bed. In the middle of this a painting crew arrived to turn the house upside down (yet again). They've just finished today. Chris has spent most of the week staying at his mother's while I slept under drop sheets and shuffled through plaster dust. I think it's been worth it though, the house now looks great inside and out.

I managed to get a few workouts in this week, including my first cycling road trip with my triathlon club. We met up near Aurora this morning and rode 47K under threatening skies. It felt great to be out on the road again after a winter of spinning classes. At the beginning of the ride I experienced a "wardrobe malfunction." The zipper on my cycling jacket fell apart in my hands as I tried to zip it up! I borrowed a handful of safety pins to hold it together. Must have looked a bit odd.

Listening to: The Long and Winding Road by The Beatles from Let It Be.

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