August 8, 2000

Another Trip to Plattsburgh


Yesterday Hubby and I took Dad and Stepmom to Plattsburgh NY. Dad had some personal business there and I didn't want him to try to drive that far (about 70 miles) himself.

So there we all were, having lunch in Friendly's, when the conversation drifted to Dad's hospital stay last spring.

[For the new or casual reader: my father, age 84, who was pretty healthy up until a year ago, spent March and April in the hospital. He had surgery for a bowel mass, which had perforated into his bladder. It was mostly inflammation (diverticulitis) but some colon cancer was also found. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer about a year ago, but this was unrelated. His recovery and convalescence were very slow, which wasn't unexpected but was still frustrating.]

Dad, who generally is still pretty sharp, remembers very little of his hospital stay (which on the whole is a good thing). I occasionally try to fill in some details, such as who visited him and what went on in the world during that time.

Suddenly he told me about a different sort of visitor.

DAD:   At least twice, I dreamed that a tall man wearing a hood came in and reached out his arms to me. He didn't say anything, just reached out.

ME:   You're trying to annoy me.

DAD:   No, really. He reached out and I told him I'm not ready yet, and he went away.

ME:   Sometimes they don't give you a choice.

DAD:   He came the night of the surgery and once more after that. I must have started to yell in my sleep because a nurse came in with a flashlight. I told her I had a nightmare.

ME:   It's a good thing you didn't tell me about that at the time.

What I didn't say:   Thank you for not leaving. Perhaps it would have been easier for you. I don't think you did it for me so much as for your wife, who needs you emotionally and physically. It doesn't matter, the end result is the same.

I asked Dad if he saw my mother, his brother or sisters or his parents, but he didn't. My Uncle had told me the day before he died, that my mother came for him in a dream.

I let it go, on the surface, but it's mouldering inside. I'm not having a very good day today.

The U.S. presidential election campaign just became a whole lot more interesting.

Al Gore chose a Jewish running mate.

I'm enjoying watching the talking heads on TV fall all over themselves to not say anything negative about him lest they be misconstrued as anti-semitic - with the exception of the Jewish ones who can give a more balanced assessment and actually (gasp) criticize some of Mr. Lieberman's policies.

As a Canadian, I like to play "who would you vote for", but this time I would be hard pressed to vote for either party. I'd probably end up voting against the Republicans because of their policies towards gun control and abortion.

This takes considerable wind out of the Republicans' sails - for now. We'll see how soon (and how much) the opposition dares show its claws towards the Democratic ticket. Meanwhile I do get a kick out of hearing "Gore/Lieberman", and trying out the sound of "Vice-President Lieberman" or even "President Lieberman".

Linque Du Jour:   Book of Year 3000

A time-capsule-type project in Montreal, where city residents are to create a book of written messages for the people of the year 3000. I guess writing and the chronicling of history are coming back into vogue. If the prose on the site sounds strange, it's because it must be a direct translation from the French.

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