Finding myself in the Middle East

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just to Know You're Alive

My father is home from the hospital.

I know. I didn't even mention that he was in the hospital to begin with. He was. Double pnenumonia and an abdominal infection.

I spoke to my mother last week, when he went in.

"Hi Ima, how's it going?"

"Okay, we're alright. Abba's back in the hospital, though."

"Oh, no. What happened?"

"He's having trouble breathing, even with the respirator. His color is off and he's unresponsive. You know how he gets when he's sick. So I called Hatzala."

"Is he okay?"

"They don't know yet. I'll call when there's news, okay?"

"Thanks, yeah, okay. And tell him that I love him."


"So Ima, did I tell you that I decided to try out for the play in the end?"

"Oh, good! You're in, I assume?"

"Ya. They wrote a part for me before I even tried out."

Cold, Di. Real cold. Skip a beat, go on living.

I was reading this book, and in the book, a woman has two sick kids. Something to do with their lungs, and it's genetic and very sad. Anyway, there's this line in the book, something to the effect of how the sound of their coughing ripped into her soul. Each time they coughed, great big gashes. In her soul.

I am a pretty sensitive person. I have a hard time reading the news without crying, and I can only read happy endings. I broke the spine of my copy of Gone With the Wind because I threw it across the room, I was so furious at the ending. But when you live with something, really live with it, the gashing of the soul, well, at the beginning. When it still hurts. After a while, the gash heals. It forms a scab. Then you callous. And callouses don't bleed.

Or maybe it's just whistling in the dark. My brother went to visit my father right before he was released from the hospital. He laughed and told jokes the whole time. Driving home, he told my sister, "I laugh and tell jokes whenever I visit. Because what am I supposed to do? See him as he really is and spend the whole visit crying?"

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