I’m blogging from a Unitarian Universalist retreat in Ferry Beach, ME. As I type, the sound of ocean waves are my background music, along with the shouts of kids playing ‘Ninja’ in the otherwise quiet streets. Ahhhhh…
My father was a huge influence on me as a writer. I recently came across a journal of his from just before his stroke. As with my own journals, his included to-do lists, various random clippings from newspapers and magazines, lines written on napkins and poetry about the people he loved. He wrote this for my mother –
It’s been 48 years since I first said, “I love you.”
And you confessed you loved me too.
It was then we decided to change the word ‘me’
by flipping the ‘m’ so the word became ‘we’.
This was written on a coffee stained envelope, along with a few rows of lotto numbers and a math calculation. On the flap of the envelope were the letters ‘TIA’ for transient ischemic attack or mini-strokes.
Back when he wrote this, we had no experience with strokes, no family history, nothing. He had mentioned a couple times how the VA said ‘something’ about TIAs, but we didn’t know enough about them to pay attention.
He said, “I need to start taking an aspirin a day.”
We said, “They’d probably go away if you’d quit smoking.”
My dad has been gone over a year now and the last 15 years of his life were spent unable to speak or to walk, dependent on others to help him up from the toilet seat and wipe his bottom. A very proud man, there are no words to describe how this must have made him feel.
With my dad, I’m not sure we could have ultimately changed anything, but I wanted to pass on a website address. The warning signs are similar to that of a stroke. For more information visit: http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/TypesofStroke/TIA/TIA_UCM_310942_Article.jsp