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a passionate repentance

Nothing to see here, move along..

Nothing to see here, move along..

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may God stand
Full fathom five thy father lies;
Of his bones are coral made;
Those are pearls that were his eyes;
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange.
Sea-nymphs hourly ring his knell


My father is home.

They've changed the house, so that he can get around. A concrete path up to the back door, a bar in the bathroom. They moved that wicker monstrosity over the toilet that was just the right height to for me to hit my shoulder on as I got up from the toilet. The kitchen was always pretty accessible, but now all the barriers are gone. All the steps and the hitches and the little ruts that caught at my feet and my crutches and my wheels.

So my father can get around.

He used to be so tall that his shadow ran out before him long and thin and attenuated. An Art-Deco jumping-jack. Busy and broad shouldered. He'd walk like he owned the world or at least owned the part *you* were standing on. Tee shirt pure white and always tucked in. Jeans and boots and hair combed so neat it looked painted on. That was a long time ago. That was before.

Now he is bowed and bony, and his teeth are as spindly as the top of a broken fence. His eyes focus for a second and then they move away. He doesn't talk. Just..sits in his wheelchair. Now and then he will move himself along with his feet, from this room to that one. Stop to smoke and think. Or maybe not think. I don't know.

He's grumpy, most days. Outright nasty now and then, though always focused. His wits aren't wandering. He's waiting. For what, I don't know. I used to think it was waiting until he got home. Now that he's home..I don't know. Maybe for us all to stop watching him. For things to go back to the way they used to be.

It's all too close. I can empathize *too* well. He has that same shaken-awake look I felt I had when *I* got out of the hospital. He stoops as if he's guarding his core, and I remember doing the thing, bringing my knees up, and my shoulders down to protect all those soft and blood-flushed targets. He's alternating between spiky, surly independence, and barely suppressed anger that no one. Is helping. Him.

And I'm wavering between wanting to protect him, and to scream. Surely I have some way to help, right? That's why I am here, why I went through it before, right? So I could be there to help with the right thing at the right time at last.

The right time. The right place. God doesn't make mistakes. I know that. I still can't help but wonder, and resent it a little..that now, they change the house for my dad. So he can get around. So he doesn't have to struggle. Nobody ever changed the house for me. My dad may not touch the sky any more. But he still owns the ground I'm on, and it's not my house any more.
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