Thursday, September 3, 2009


In the woods of Bloggingham it stands west of the house near the drive, tall enough to hang over both dormers and look in. One massive trunk holding three trees stretching somewhere west of Bloggingham's moon and stars.
It is my favorite tree.

It reminds me of the strength of my father.

Why can't I run the bases, my girl? Where are the bases? I can't find them.

I see them, Daddy, I see them. It is a fine day on the field.

One......two.......three bases. Run, Mimi, run the bases. The game is almost over and we are in overtime. Don't you see it's midnight, my Girl? Run, Mimi, run the bases.

Who's that joker on third, Sis? I told him not to steal....What's he doing??!
He grabs his bald head like the cap he wore is still there and rubs his head as if to say, Where's my hat, Mimi? I can't find my hat.
(Please. Please don't touch your head like that. I can't stand it. Please, Daddy, I am begging you. There is nothing there. There is no hat. Nothing.)

But I say....."It's there, Daddy. I've always loved that hat. It's a beautiful day in the stadium today. Don't you think?"

Confusion on a face I love. On a face I know. On a face and brown eyes that are mine. Suddenly, as God as my witness, he looks as young as my own son for just a flash. So thin he is. Undeniable bone structure that passed from my womb to his grandson. I see him there. He was a ballplayer too. And looks the spitting image of his grandfather today.

I want to run the bases, my Girl. I have to run...his voice fails....what was I just going to say?
the bases

He falls asleep
Thank God
I cannot let him see me cry

He tried so hard to stay in the game. He is still trying SO hard to stay here and win - to stay strong.

He never let me give up in the 7th... in the 8th... in the 9th, until all the fireflies had flown and all the bases had been run, until the clock ticked out a midnight and the lights were still shining on his beloved home plate, not once, never, not even once did he tell me to stop running the bases.
It was always "Run, Sis! Dammit Sis, I said run. You can make it home."

But today my footing is askew and I can't find those sandbags either. I'm lost, Daddy, and you are nowhere to be found. You know if I miss touching one I have to start all over.

And Daddy, we don't have time to start over today.

He wakes up and asks for ice cream. Sugar is 383. No ice cream for Daddy. This small thing has cut me to the core. I am furious. He has to start all over. More insulin. No ice cream. More needles. No ice cream. He looks disappointed. He wants to eat ice cream. Dammit! Just let him eat ice cream!! What kind of God would deny an old man his favorite scoop of chocolate? He just wants to have some ice cream. Is that so much to ask? I am so angry at his loss. He didn't ask for caviar. He just wants a simple bowl of ice cream.

I can't stand the weariness in his eyes. I can't stand that I can't make his body do what it's supposed to do so that he can have his favorite ice cream. I will never eat ice cream again. I swear to you. Never again.

I want to run the bases, my girl.
You will, Daddy, you will.
I want to hold you on the pony ride.You will, Daddy, you will.
You did, Daddy, you did.

I remember.

I can't see the ponies, my girl, I can't see them.

They confuse me so.....round and round.Make them stop. Mimi, make them stop.
I don't like this. What? Did you say something? I don't know. What?..I don't know. What did you say?

He is frustrated at the wailing in his mind.

I am here to tell you that physical pain is no match for this disgrace.
My father cannot think.
He cannot be.

Make them stop, Mimi.
"I can't Daddy, I can't.
But it's all right."

When do I stop telling him to run?
When do I let him go?


Svem said...

Jeez Mimi, what can I say in response to that? *hug*hug*hug*

Charles Gramlich said...

A holy trinity. Of trees and memories.

Dawn (Twisted Sister) said...

I'm crying now. Memories are back to haunt me. You wrote it so well... the emotions and heartbreak that words can rarely convey, but somehow you did.
My heart is with you today.

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who was a mother fighting the same pain.

Unfortunately, life sometimes has annoying facts that can not be avoided. The trick is to find replacements that oppose the annoyances.

If you think about it long enough the strangest solution may be hiding the the deepest recesses of the mind.

Be strong!

Akelamalu said...

Oh Mimi my lovely I'm so sorry. I have my arms around you ((hug)) and Reiki is winging its way to your Daddy as I type.

Xmichra said...

*sobs*.... I don't know Mimi... I don't know. (((hugs)))

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Very emotional, write it all beautifully.

Anonymous said...

*hugs* I'm sorry Mimi. :(

Finding Pam said...

Your Father must be one heck of a man. Running the bases is like life, and he taught you well.

Your post was so touching. I am with Akelamula, with arms wide open for you to have a safe place to fall. I am saddened for you, Mimi. Peace and love to you my friend and your precious Dad.

Mimi Lenox said...

Svem - I will take a hug. Thank you so much.

Mimi Lenox said...

Charles - Well said. Beautiful thought.

Mimi Lenox said...

Dawn - I know you feel this deeply. It is so hard to watch. Hugs to you, my friend.

Mimi Lenox said...

Anonymous - Annoyances? Not sure what you mean but thank you for the advice. I'm pretty good at wearing my heart on my sleeve here. Not sure if that makes me strong or foolish at times though.

Mimi Lenox said...

Akelamalu - I feel them. I really really do.

Mimi Lenox said...

Xmichra - A hard question for sure.

Mimi Lenox said...

Jean-Luc - Thank you. Writing is my solace as well.

Mimi Lenox said...

Mejis - Thank you very much. I will take hugs all day long.

Mimi Lenox said...

Pam - I know my friends are here. I really know that. Thank you and my lovely friend from across the pond, Akelamalu.

Anonymous said...

I was sitting at an airport earlier and had little time to write the last comment, what I meant by Annoyances was mainly the ice cream, and not being able to have it. Sorry about the confusion. Now I am about to get on a plane again... so i hope this comment is more legible.

Mimi Lenox said...

Anonymous - Safe flight! Thank you for explaining.


He looked out the window of the cottage, through the pink floribunda rose as it twined through and through the gnarled old fence. He noticed how dry the west wind blew today and ran to get the shiny new bucket hanging from a rusty old nail on the porch railing. Scooping up rain water from the old mill barrel he used as a rain-catcher, he hoisted it on his left shoulder, enjoying the new-found strength. He ambled to the rose bush, laughing as water sloshed from the bucket soaking his hair. Ah, it felt so good to laugh again! He noticed the girl then, scurrying along the sidewalk, juggling a briefcase, a cell phone, a bottle of water. A giant rumble erupted through his teeth and he hollered to her,"Running again, girl? Stay put there on second a minute, will ya? We got a run walking in Home on the next pitch!" The girl couldn't hear the man. Always running. Never stopping to smell those roses. "Why'd I always tell her to run? Shoulda sat on that bench with her and told her 'bout my dreams,for her, for me." Calling after her as she stumbled down the street away from him,"Slow down, damn it! Walk the bases!" a tear ran down his face. The girl would be fine, he knew.He'd throw enough curve balls at her and she'd stop that infernal running."Yep, that'll get her!" he chuckled as he picked up the shiny new bucket, hoisted it to his right shoulder, and jumped the gnarled old fence...

Travis said...

Oh hell. That was...well, you know what that was.

My dear, you don't have to worry so much about when to stop telling him to run. He'll tell you when he's ready to stop. And when he's ready, you'll be ready too.

Americanising Desi said...

hugs. love you loads!

Mojo said...

I ... I can't think of one single thing to say.

Sometimes... there's just not enough rocks.

Or enough words.

Jamie said...

Beautiful, moving, sad, and deeply felt. Hugs to you and yours as you face letting go. You never really lose those who slip away before they are gone because what they were is always with you.

Xmichra said...

Hope this evening finds you a bit better in spirits. ((hug))


Hugs and blessings!

Mr. Lance said...


Julie said...

Oh Mimi. All I can do is love you from way over here. I'm sorry you're experiencing this pain. Just allow your writing to comfort you...allow your tears to bathe you in daddy's love.

Mimi Lenox said...

Thanks to all.
He was a little better yesterday. He asked about my day and then went back to sleep.

I appreciate you being here for me.
It means more than you know.

The Gal Herself said...

So moving, so complicated, that it took me more than one reading to respond.

I'm still not sure I'm ready.

I have an uncle afflicted with Parkinson's. He used to ski downhill and run 10K races. He used to go deep sea fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. His condo in Vail is gone. The last time he saw Key West his legs locked on him so he never got on a boat the whole trip. He can no longer run because there are some days that sitting is nearly impossible -- if he's not holding the arms of the chair he will slide out.

He used to tell long, funny stories. Now all he wants to talk about is Viet Nam because he's sure prolonged exposure to chemical exfoliants has exacerbated his deterioration. I'm not sure he's wrong.

He's alive, he's here, yet I miss him. I try to thank him for all he's done for me but he brushes me off. If it's not related to his suffering, he doesn't want to talk about it.

I understand how awful this has been for him, and he certainly has earned the right to complain, but I miss who he was.

My best friend has wisely told me that this is why professional caregivers are so important. They treat the patient who is in front of them, not the man he once was.

I know an uncle isn't a father and I'm not trying to compare/contrast our experiences. I just want you to know two things: 1) what you wrote moved me and 2) if I don't KNOW what this is like for you, at least I have peered through the keyhole and have some idea.

Mimi Lenox said...

Gal - It is the same pain, the same sense of loss we share regardless of the relation. I remember you telling me this before and I knew you were going through a lot emotionally with it.
Seeing them so transformed against their will is an adjustment. I just want to make it better.
I can't.
Hard for me. Hard for you too.

Thank you for sharing.
Thank you for caring.

Your comment meant a great deal to me.

Starrlight said...

Aww Mimi, that was hard to read. I feel for you. As someone who has taken care of the elderly, I feel for your dad as well. I hope he gets icecream really soon.

Mimi Lenox said...

Starr - So you know how this looks. Ice cream is his favorite!! He has to get some soon. A BIG BOWL. HUGE.

katherine. said...

watching our once strong vital parent slip from what they once were as we shift roles with them feels so..SO..unnatural.

Beyond is even painful for us at times.

keep writing it all you power through it...even if you don't post and publish...keep writing it all out.

sending you love!

Mimi Lenox said...

Thanks Katherine.

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