Saturday, July 28, 2007


I stare at this white page, wondering what to say. I wonder, “Are you awake too, Dad?” Words don’t come easy. You thanked me for playing tonight, but the words came hard then, too. For both of us. I hope you’re not panicked – please tell me you’re not – just a little short of breath, right? I wish you weren't so aware of all of this...

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that I’d like to do,
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you.

The chaplain came by today. I wish I’d been there. He read you a prayer about a bird with a broken wing. You liked it, I was told. You stored it in the pocket of your walker, remember?

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken winds and learn to fly.
All your life,
You were only waiting for this moment to arise.

You seem tired, sleepy. It must be strange. We’re waiting. You know we’re waiting. It’s taken longer than you thought, hasn’t it? I’m sorry. Everyone keeps asking me how long it will take. A week, two? It might be faster, longer, I don’t know. Sorry about the parade of people that want to see you one last time to say goodbye. It must be hard. Do you remember the dogs running about? It seems even your dog is less important to you now. We’ll take good care of her. Tonight, it was beautiful outside. I wish you’d wanted to go out, even for a little bit – you always loved it outside. People don’t care how you look. Really. I’m so sorry. I feel, I don’t know, it’s all so … so strange. I know, this is what you wanted, but …

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
"I am leaving, I am leaving."
But the fighter still remains…

You look peaceful now, sleeping there. I hope you liked the music, Dad. I love you. Remember, if you get short of breath tonight, take the morphine, okay?



RoseAG said...

I have a relative who has had several strokes and isn't in very good shape.

We've taken to reading stories from the New Yorker to her. I try to read them ahead of time so I can edit out anything that I'm not comfortable reading. It's amazing what shows up that you don't want to be reading out loud to an 89 y/o! There was one story about a village in France which I thought would be nice since she liked to travel, and the next thing I knew the fellow was in prison having sex....

It gives a little purpose to a visit, and is a nice way to share something with someone who isn't too chatty. I hate visiting and feeling like I'm in a rush. Sitting down to read a story gives the visit a beginning and an end.

DrWes said...

Thanks. I'll give this a try-

rlbates said...

Thanks for the post. I love that Jim Croce song--Time in a Bottle. Wouldn't it be nice if we really could do that? I also like RoseAG suggestion of reading to him. It is one of the things I would like done for me when I can no longer read for myself. Best wishes to you and your family in this difficult time.

Lin said...

Thoughts and prayers are with you.

Margaret Polaneczky, MD (aka TBTAM) said...

So sorry to se you are going through this. You are in my thoughts...

Dr. K said...

Oh, Dr. Wes, I wish that I knew what to say. I'm so sorry that you are going through this but so very glad to read that you are able to spend some precious moments with your Dad.

You, your Dad, your Mum and the rest of your family are very much in my thoughts.

DrWes said...

Thank you all for your kind words.

I had a bizzare and unexpected occurrence shortly after this post aired. It seems google's spam bots have labeled this blog as spam and have restricted this blog from further posts until my log is "reviewed" by Google. I have e-mailed them and posted a request for review, but to date, no such review has occurred. I am hoping that my "privileges" will be reinstated after the weekend, but cannot say when further posts will occur. Perhaps Google is upset by my 'Knights of the Round Table' post? Or maybe, it's like Skynet in the The Terminator taking over, I don't know.

I regret that this has occurred, and I now see why many people are migrating to Wordpress. I suppose I will have to consider doing the same. Please bear with me as I try to find resolution to this mess. To say this is frustrating is an understatement.

Anonymous said...

Dr Fisher,

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family in this difficult time. It is never easy watching a Loved One suffer, let alone your parent. Hospice is a wonderful program, one that helped my father, as well as my family. I know your father will find comfort, peace, and serenity.

Sharon Falasco