Mental Health, Real Life and Feels Ahead

Deep breaths.

Sorry for the quiet, everybody.

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Hospital Thoughts

For my father:

Through yonder window breaks

The boy

Kneeling at the bedside table

A prayer

Somewhere in the midst

Of life,

The feet of death hang

In grayscale

Monument of the quiet man’s strength

A shroud

Over hope, the sing-song memory

It perseveres

Through white-coat salutations

Their assurance

Little comfort in the night’s long hour

Laid out

When he is naught but dreams

A longing

Night’s crystal rain

The watch

He is the only one, he tells himself

That sees

The wrinkles and the lines, in pallid sheets

The world

If he can make it through the night—

Slow breaths—

Hope will find them in the dawn.

My father and mother, seen here at my brother's wedding rehearsal.

My submission to this week’s One Shot Wednesday, and one that holds a special place with me. I wrote this a few days ago when, if you will remember, I was caught in the throes of a massive worry in my own life, revolving around my ailing father. Since then, he has undergone surgery and is apparently recovering now…and while that recovery time will be long, it is still a comfort to know that he will be better again.

This work revolves mostly around the feelings of waiting, the uncertainty, the hoping…the great pain that comes with watching and being unable to do anything in those long nights.

Absence Addendum

My father and I.

First of all, I would like to thank everyone for your support in the past week. Your tweets, comments, and e-mails have been a great boon to me in this troubled time. I had hoped this new week would allow me to start out with some better news, but it’s my great sadness to report my latest updates are still on the grayer shade of things.

Over the weekend, my father was kept at the hospital, ostensibly so the antibiotics being pumped into his system could have the time to do what they needed to do. A CAT scan was scheduled for this morning, wherein they could determine whether or not they had done just that. After being bumped to the afternoon (because hospitals can never bring themselves to be timely, mark me), however, the scan revealed that the antibiotics, while making some gains, were far from packing the punch the doctors had been hoping for. They will have to conduct surgery this afternoon after all.

Unless they move it to tomorrow. One never can be sure.

Before you ask, yes, this is the same procedure the doctors had flagged as “too risky” to undergo before. They give a little consolation now in the fact that the antibiotic rounds have made the job a bit easier, as they will have to root around less in their procedure…but even so. Hopefully, I will hear good news this evening. If I do, I’ll undoubtedly update this message about it. If not, I’ll have words for tomorrow.

For now: more waiting. It seems all I ever do any more.

My father and the hounds.

On another note, Fane is doing alright. His wounds are healing, despite the fact that he tore one open again late last week. Animal Control came at last on Saturday – five days after I notified them of the attack (they said it would take 2-3 days). The woman was nice and took down my report, and promised to have a stern talk with the neighbor who owned the other dog. Hopefully she did. I don’t honestly know. Regardless, a vet visit was unnecessary, and my dog appears to be healing alright, so that’s one less worry on my mind at the moment.

My internet presence will still likely be a bit spotty in the week to come – and my apologies for that, but it’s how I deal with these things. I’m one of those that retreat into themselves when the going gets bad. Probably not the healthiest, I know, but it’s my way. But for those of you that ponder it, I will be posting a work for One Shot Wednesday this week, though once again I can make no promises on the comments. Hopefully the surgery will take and some semblance of life’s normalities will resume in short.

I thank you all again for keeping my family in your thoughts, and for the kind words you have provided me over the past week. It means a lot, it really does. I wish you all the best in turn.

UPDATE: As of 10 o’clock, my father has gone to surgery and emerged again, weary but with promising news. The surgery was successful, and in time he should recover. He is to be kept in the hospital for another week for recovery, but time will see him released. From there, it will be another two weeks at home before he can return to work (and probably as long before he can have good, solid food again), but the creeping darkness seems to have subsided, and a brighter path opened. The waiting is over, and much of the week’s past worries should soon subside. Again, I thank you all for your thoughts and kindnesses. It has meant a lot in this time of worry.

Absence Explained

Yesterday, you may have noticed I posted a poem for One Shot Wednesday. Nothing out of the ordinary in that, and certainly unorthodox. Those among my commenters section, however, may have noticed that I have not, as my usual goodly self would have, traveled to your blogs in turn for a comment or a quality liking. You may be thinking, what a dick, that Chris guy.

Well humbly hold back on the dickery decrees for a moment while I explain. This week, you will probably not be seeing much activity from me. Some issues have erupted in the real world that have left me scrambling for sanity, but facing worry; for time, but finding little to be had.

My mother and father, Rocky Mountains 2010.

Yesterday, my father was taken to the hospital following a week-long sickness. In the beginning, we had thought it was the flu, or something like it. When it stretches for a week – certainly not the case. He was checked into the emergency room. Doctors seem to have figured out what was wrong – infections coming on in clumps all up in the wrong areas – but they don’t know yet if what they have prescribed will be enough for the moment. They have held him at the hospital for now, and given him antibiotics. They may take. They may not. If the don’t, they will likely have to conduct surgery. A skittish Chris is left in the meanwhile.

As if that weren’t enough, the week seems content to stack numerous other obstacles and bad things in my path. For example, yesterday, not 20 minutes before I learned about my father, my dog was mauled by another dog while we were walking down the street. Put an inch long gash in his neck and took a chunk of skin out from under his eye. Would have been worse, much worse, if I hadn’t booted the assaulting animal off my thoroughly startled dog. Have to deal with animal control and all that now. Likely an angry neighbor as well.

"Fane," post-attack.

I will likely return to normality next week, and you will see posts and commentary the same as ever from regular Chris, but for the moment, if I’m a little lacking in internet presence, I hope you’ll understand. All the best to you all.

A father’s love

Staring out the window

the old man sees the picture:

laughter and smiles, these bodies still they

tackle and break and the ball

it floats between, less a joy than a symbol

of a father’s love–

he young, to full of life and love

for dearest son–

he still the younger, laughing, adoration still

he sees this game, a day, a week

and weeps upon the broken knees,

this weary flesh–oh time, time

has rotted;

there is no game for he, this is

Life, life he shall not have, nor give,

but still he looks to the growing faces

of the life beside,

and to this image can but smile–

in that child’s eyes

a word, a look are all he needs

to know the love, the deed–

he cannot do, but love can show

in other ways–

sometimes he just needs the reminder.

Oh these regrets, such bitter things–

thank God, thank God, that child

still smiles at me.

My latest contribution to the wonderful One Shot Poetry Wednesdays! Once you’ve had a look, check out some of the other One Shot Poets as well– they’re a skilled bunch of poets, looking to form a community and support one another.  Enjoy!

Of a Morning’s Creativity

Sleep, I’m beginning to think, is something of a double-edged sword.

No one, and certainly not I, will deny that it feels good. That morning stretch. That clarity that comes in the waking, body taut, eyes open—a lazy embrace of the sun on your skin, and the warmth in every breath. The slumber brings life.

But that life is capped, in some regards. All that energy draws me on, vaults me into the myriad bounties of action, but it distracts. The clarity purges more than just the bad from my mind—in its relentless sweep, so too does it strike away the creativity.

I can write when I am awake. I can read, of course. But the edge to my thoughts are lost, the shine dulled down into bland mediocrity. My world and my actions are clear, but my thoughts are strained. The flow is lost, replaced by strict attention—good for the editing, poor for the writing. I feel a fog as I wake dreaming, and it is the press through this great darkness that brings me satisfaction.

The body suffers, so the mind wakes.