I forgot to post a birthday wish for my Dad on June 8th. Happy Birthday Dad and sorry this is so late. I like to remember my parents on their special days because somehow in my own personal theology I believe they have access to computers. Seriously, the spirit world is totally plugged into the internet. I keep waiting for them to comment on a blog post but they never do. Still, they lurk, people. Motivation for us all to keep posting. :)
Anyway. When my Dad lived with us he used to randomly tell me the story of blank. I really can't remember blank's name. Dad said he was a man that lived in Franklin many years ago. When he was a boy people would talk and comment about how blank was so lazy and Dad admitted that he thought he was, too. They would be off to the fields, or off to school and there would be blank, sitting under a tree, his lunch bucket next to him and his chin resting on his chest, softly snoring. My, my blank is a lazy fellow, they would all shake their heads and say.
Dad would always pause at this part in the telling. When he resumed, his words were sober. "And you know, one day blank died. Just upped and died. And no one could figure out why a young man like that would die. So the doctors in Safford cut him open and saw what no one could see. Old blank, well, turned out he had a brain tumor. A big one." Then he always added, "Folks were kinda ashamed, after that."
One of the most profound little stories my Dad ever told me. And heartbreakingly poignant. I've been thinking alot about it lately because my own health issues have been causing some real behavioral symptoms in me and my family is, well, puzzled. I have been spouting off to them a symptom list as long as my arm in the hopes that they will cut me some slack and show me some mercy. I have faith and confidence that things will stabilize here with my meds and with time, but I am, to be frank, a holy mess right now.
I am learning, painfully, too. The lesson my Dad was trying to teach me with his stories and by his example of living in a diseased and pain racked body and maintaining his dignity through it all, well, it didn't take too well when I was younger. But oh, the moral of that story now is slapping me upside the head.
Sometimes what we judge as a character flaw in another is really biology, or altered blood chemistry or disease. Or just plain aging. We can't know how another feels or what goes on under their skin. One day we will all want the mercy and compassion that withholding judgment gives.
My loved ones are holding true and especially ld. They are cutting me a wide berth while I continue to be 'the restless ocean, to their stable shore.'