Monday, 20 February 2012

To Arms

It was good to see Mike resting this morning, and the nurse this morning believed he’d had a relatively quiet night.  They gave him a pretty strong painkiller dosing around 7pm-ish, so that would’ve helped.  When he is awake he seems clear on what we’re saying to him, though he’s non-committal with his answers; “maybe” and “not too bad” are ones I’ve heard a lot these days.  But he knows that Carol is there and nods appreciatively to her.  He knows too that Victor is curled up on the bed, and pats him as if to comfort him.

I’ve been reminded of how elegantly my father moves.  He has incredibly long arms, which through the years have hoisted and hauled countless bags of groceries, books, and supplies to and from Protection Island, pushed many lawnmowers around many yards, fired many basketballs into many hoops, and, in his youth, hefted cargo on and off the ships docked in Vancouver.  Now the strength has gone, but he continues to use those arms with great expression and (here I go again) grace, swooping his arms up over his head and giving a double thumbs-up when I mention that Charlotte will be visiting soon, or gliding one arm out and giving a flick of his wrist to things he doesn’t care for or about.  It’s a kind of hospital bed ballet, and I remember how much my father used to make me laugh as a kid, showing off his version of ballet steps — it was not that he was a big man who was trying to look like a ballerina, it was that he was a big man who actually sort of DID look like a ballerina.

So, Mike, please keep your big heart going and your elegant arms flowing!
Alison, yr dot

1 comment:

  1. Oh, this one got me. I was just thinking this morning about his "big" gracefulness and how he would make his words linger to keep pace with the many movements his arms needed to go through to properly express his ideas.

    Alison, you have your parents' gift for communication. And grace.