healing

It’s noon on Friday.

The last time I looked at the clock it was 10:34am, just before I got lost in a stranger’s essay on her father’s death.  She was 14 when her father died, and she loved him terribly. Sudden heart attacks are such robbery.

 

It’s been over a year since my best friend lost her father.  She loved him terribly too, maybe even moreso in death than life.  Memories and regrets have a funny way of doing that to us. Or maybe that’s just what we name healing.

 

It’s been almost ten years since my own father’s been gone. Not a physical death, but a loving, present one. I sometimes wonder if I’d recognize him if I ran into him at the market. Does he still eat ice cream at night? Would he be alone?

 

I always wonder how long it’ll take for me to get the phone call of his physical death.

 

It’s 12:06pm on Friday.

 

I can hear the water running in the downstairs shower.  My mother, with a broken shoulder and a paralyzed half of a body, found a way to get out of the braces and splints on her own. I can’t tell today if it was out of stubborn frustration, or if she’s making progress. Or maybe that’s just what we name healing.

 

“My aunt had a stroke and she’s fine now.” “After my neighbor had a stroke, he was walking and talking.” “My grandpa recovered from his stroke in a few weeks. Your mom will be fine.” If fine means 205 days and a broken shoulder and a paralyzed half of a body.

 

It’s as though our hope left months ago, but we still keep speaking it out loud.