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Sunday, December 09, 2012

My Father

 Wind and Dunes

I did not write a post about this for a time; I did not know what to say.

On the day before Thanksgiving this year, my parents had an appointment with my father's pulmonologist. It was just after 3:30 in the afternoon, and I had watched an episode of Doc Martin and was going to call them about their doctor visit.
At 3:49 I received a call from my father's doctor, and I knew this was not a good sign.
I was informed my father had probably 6 months to live, and the chances of treatment for the lung cancer  -  which had already invaded the bones of the chest  -  were not good for someone of his age, almost 93 years.

The Destroyer of Delights and the Sunderer of Companionship has sent his RSVP.
It is something we know will happen in advanced age.

I handled it pretty well, until it came time to set up the Christmas tree - which I did early since 6 months was only a guess.

Then my wife's cousin Honora died... then a best friend's mother, who was 101, died totally unexpectedly just this last week. We spent yesterday Saturday split apart by two funerals being held at the same time, one west of Detroit presided over by a priest who often officiates at rites for the Order of Hibernians and the other well north of Detroit presided over by a priest from Colombia.

Our society has a fascination in the Resurrection.
We have focused on that Day of Power when the dead shall rise again, but we have done it in our own peculiar emphasis on despair and degradation: we have chosen the figure of the Vampire and the Zombie to be the vehicles of our speculations on the state of Life coming after Death.

We have created a popular image of Diseased Resurrection.

The Resurrection is not of corruption: it is a newness and new creation as well as a invigoration of the past.
This I expect. This I know.
This is not what the unbelievers hold, nor is it what the believers believe, for although they speak of Life eternal, they imagine an endless repetition of the past as they stand in endless choirs. A thousand years ago, thinking of Life as a immobile and unchanging thing could be forgiven; not so anymore.

Life is growth and change. Life Eternal is endless growth and change, not merely some divine rescue mission: it is the epitome of Creation.
We differ from all of them who think small of the Resurrection, and we have no words to express what others might term our "belief system". It is something that we shine in our minds and souls.
painting: Barbara McGeachen


Anna MR said...

Hei Montag.

I am really sorry to hear about your news. The fact that we know this is the way of life, that The End comes at the end and as the end, and that it is the "correct order" of things for parents to go before their children, doesn't make it any simpler to comprehend and deal with, when it actually happens or begins to happen to oneself.

Words of condolence and sympathy, no matter how heartfelt, tend to sound a bit trite in these circumstances, and there isn't anything anyone can do, to make it go away or otherwise – apart from offering these words. Unless, of course, one is somewhere relatively nearby and can offer help in practicalities, should the need arise. As I am not in the position to offer to push the vacuum cleaner around for you, or to do your dishes so that you can take some time out for yourself or something, all I have is words to give; and so, without wanting to turn it all around and talk about my problems and worries, I just want to tell you that my current life situation is similar (my mother has been diagnosed with a fatal condition this year) and hence I really and truly know how it feels, and how you might be feeling – although obviously, we all react in our own way, feel our own feelings. But I can have a personally-felt inkling of how you might feel.

So, you know. I hope you can still have this one more Christmas together with as much joy and gratitude and love as is possible. Sending you my thoughts of friendship, sympathy and empathy.


Montag said...

Your words of concern make me feel great. I send my thoughts to you, also,and your mother.

You're right about words failing us and sounding a bit ragged. Your concern "shines" through nevertheless, and that shining makes words unnecessary.

That's what makes me feel so warm.

x and o

Anna MR said...

Ah, Montag. I'm glad. Your words made me well up. Thank you.

I have been mostly away from the blog world for quite some time; but I'm partially back now, and I'll be sure to check in with you more regularly again. You are and always have been a good sort, and I recognised you immediately as such, all those years ago.


Montag said...

And I like your humour. I still show people the picture of the "Wet Spot Machine" which I first saw in your blog.

As I write, I remember a poem to Our Lady of Chimayo, and a winter of yours. I'll post it again.

Anna MR said...

Thank you for your words, and the post and poem. You are sweet.

However, do please remember the original Wet Spot Machine was discovered and reported by the blogger known as But Why? – to give credit where credit is due. I only referred people to this amazing thing. But Why? herself seems to have either disappeared or is taking a very long break from blogging. I just looked, and her latest post dates back to 2009. That's a long break even by my standards (a long break by yours, of course, would be about 48 hours, no? You prolific thing).

I have an essay to write. It's not going well. I must back to it, for I should hand it in today. I don't think I shall, mind, for the lecturer has said that extra time until the end of the week is okay. I would prefer finishing it today, but procrastination rules, ok…


Montag said...

You are welcome, although I believe you already thanked me back in 2008.

What are you studying?
How could you be at a loss for words? I seem to recall a great verbosity in Sign's blog about a year ago.

Anna MR said...

Education and theoretical philosophy, with a smattering of developmental psychology thrown in.

That's the trouble: either there's a deluge of words or none at all…


Montag said...

I know the phenom well.
If and when I ever find myself by chance next to someone who actually wishes to talk to me, I am most loquacious!

Does not happen very often, so I sit as taciturn as a garden gnome.