Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lent - Day 3 and 4

I missed posting last night.  I was pretty tired and my neighbors were being very noisy last night.  It made it very hard to concentrate.  I got to bed and as I was falling asleep, I realized I hadn't posted - but figured you would forgive me.

Today was a good day.  I had breakfast with my girls, Suzy, Jenn and Kat, which makes every Saturday a good day.  Then I did a little shopping and have spent the afternoon catching up on various things.

I'm still holding true to my Lenten commitments.  I've decided to share with you what it is I am "giving up."  Bread and wine.  This came about due to a discussion with a friend about systemic yeast infections and how she gave up sugar, bread, and alcohol for a couple months and is feeling more energy these days. It sounded like a good idea to me - but I love bread AND wine and I just wasn't sure I could do it.  Besides, it seemed a little pretentious to give up the things that symbolize Christ in the faith of my youth during a period in which I am supposed to be meditating on the importance of faith in my life.

But - I've been drinking more wine than I was comfortable with.  Not a lot, but more than I felt was good for me.  And bread, well, I considered all carbs, but that would be way too hard.  So I went with yeast breads, leavened breads, things that I love.  Bagels, toast, baguettes, English muffins.  Honestly, this has been harder than the wine.  Today in the grocery store, I stood in the bakery aisle and just inhaled deeply.  I felt like I was caught red handed with porn!

I just ate a nice little New York steak with a baked potato and I really wanted a glass of red wine to go along with it.  So tempting. 

I've been a little afraid of this weekend and actually then next two weeks or so.  You see, tomorrow, it will have been 30 years since I last spoke to my father.  It was on March 14, 1981, which I know is Monday, but on that Sunday afternoon, I called home to catch up with my parents.  I was in rehearsals for a new play that was going to be opening in April and so I wouldn't be going home for spring break that year.  I was 21.  I had lived on my own in Portland for 6 months.  I had a furnished studio with a Murphy bed and a tiny little kitchen. I had a sort of boyfriend.  I had my first featured role in a play.  Things were looking up! Everything I had dreamed about when I moved away was happening. 

When my dad answered the phone, I was so filled with hope and possibility, I just rattled on and on.  He listened patiently, asked me if my car was running good, if I needed money, all the usual dad things, then he gave the phone to my mom and I talked on to her for a bit.  Worried about the cost of a long distance call, we finally said good bye.  Three days later, my mother would call me and tell me that my dad was in the hospital after an apparent stroke.  It was bad.  And I should come home if at all possible. 

The stroke was in the brain stem and within a matter of hours, my father's brain activity had stopped.  He was dead; his body just didn't know it yet.  I managed to get home where my siblings helped me agree with my mother that unnecessary measures should not be taken.  I stood in that room where my father lay on a cooling blanket, because his body couldn't control its temperature, and I knew HE was no more.  But I didn't want to say goodbye. Yet I had to say goodbye.

I've lived 30 years with out my father.  I miss him every day. 

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