Saturday, July 25, 2015

Good Thing

I spent almost a full two hours with my doctor yesterday.  It was my "annual" physical exam plus a follow up to a recent kidney infection that nearly put me over the edge.  My doctor is a wellness person, a brilliant, beautiful woman who has chosen to not allow insurance companies or anything corporate, whatsoever, to dictate how she will practice her profession. And, as a result, she has time to spend with her patients and the whole process of "going to the doctor" reinvents itself into a visit with kindred spirits. Her nurse and receptionist share her philosophy, making the long drive to her office on a Summer morning easy.  Yesterday, two third-year medical students from Boston University were "following" her and it became pay-back time for me, the mother of a B.U. undergrad.
Sure, bring it on, let's have a good time. And that we did. Dr. Patty dished out lots of good advice to her students, gave them the opportunity to participate and to learn and did an extra bit of demonstration when she told us all about a great exercise for balance.  Only in Dr. Patty's office, kids. Your attendings would not be impressed!

Now, in addition to the great medical care, I always get a bonus from my talks with Patty.  She's a good Jew, a convert, but her trust in the metaphysical world and her nod to spirituality, is everywhere. This is a woman who relies heavily on her innate wisdom when she completes the wellness circle and addresses things other than the kidney. And, she listens, so I talk and she never fails to come up with the exact right words.

I have so many random thoughts lately.  Having moved to a new home in the middle of Summer has not allowed me to concentrate on much more than positioning furniture and getting the "basics" done. The need to sit and just "be" has not been met.  I have temporarily lost my own life, the things that served me well as outlets for my creativity.  I'm here, with a blank canvas, waiting for my muse to show up. She does not like heat and humidity and has sent me tiny messages that say that she will be coming, to wait for her arrival and that she will be busy early in the Fall.  Until then, she's advised me to be mindful, to remember who I am and what's important and to allow my body to heal from the assault that it took, most likely as a result of not being mindful enough.

The new home is a few miles away from our last one.  We no longer live a minute away from my father but he does not understand that.  If he was aware of it, by now, he has forgotten it.  I still see him often, perhaps too often and I could do less were I to record my side of the same conversation that we have each and every time I do stop by.  I could have a poster of myself made, or perhaps a blow up version, one that would do just as well filling in for me as a visitor to his home.  When I think of him lately, the words "slot machine" keep coming to mind.  It's that simple. Slot machine. I pull down the lever, the fruits never match up so I never win.  The results?  Always the same. The same trite, meaningless answers.  No emotion.  No sign of caring.  Just a slot machine that doesn't ever pay out.  Good analogy, I think to myself.  Whenever I have been in a casino, I found it very hard to resist playing the slots.  My logic told me that it was highly unlikely that I would win, that the machine would just take my money, add it to the money already in there, and maybe once in a while, spit it out to someone else, but not to me.  But the urge to pull that handle, to maybe get a good response, that was a hard one to resist.

My father is not the father I once knew.  Oh, don't get me wrong, he never, ever was an easy man and always had a way of making me feel small and stupid but I married a man who didn't.  Period.
I finally conclude that the father I was given is dead.  He died a while ago, when my mother started to lose her hold on life.  He slipped away, as if he were hanging onto the edge of a high cliff and slowly, as he let go, he slid to the ground, rolled up into a catatonic ball of a once-person, and rotted away. So the man I so dutifully visit and call every day and take care of, is not even related to me.  I don't know him and frankly folks, I do not like him.

Dr. Patty softly spoke some words of truth to me, as she always does.  She leaned her head towards mine and here is what she said...."It's a good thing when we bury our parents". 

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