November 19, 2008

Technology mends, bends, breaks

Sometimes we are blessed that today's technology lets us achieve the impossible - or at least what we plant in our brain as improbable.

I needed the impossible: To be in two places at the same time. With my father. With my daughter.

I needed the impossible: An overnight cure of chills, sniffles, sore throat.

I needed the impossible: Letting go of a shared project, secure in knowing it would continue.

My husband helped with first, driving to my dad, holding a cellphone and letting me share another set of "love you's and goodbyes."

By the time my husband arrived at my dad's hospital an hour away, I knew going to see someone with pneumonia was too risky for my own health, for my daughter's health. I need to be here to comfort my daughter, even as we both know I cannot assure her of a different fate. But the opportunity to express love once more mends the ache of wanting to be with my father physically as he takes his last breaths.

To achieve the second meant swallowing my pride. Yes, I couldn't believe that the name of the solution had slipped from my mind. Yes, I couldn't believe I was going to break my promise to me to avoid rejection. Yes, I would be needy again. But the first words in 11 months let me know I had not misjudged the man's heart, only failed to recognize boundaries. Bending isn't breaking.

The last need seemed to be met with a public, gracious offer. But words that to most would read as positive shout to me "go away." Yeah, call me if you need me....oh, don't forget I don't return calls.

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