Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How Are the Heat Doing

When Dad was in the hospital, he was not eating properly, lips were cracked, and he was having trouble sitting up by himself.  This, he continued to say to us, was "not him."  He had told us for years, that when he could not take care of himself he would be better off not being here.

Yet, he fought some.  When they put a pace maker in him, he was willing to give that a shot.  When they put him in rehab, he occasionally refused the aide who would wheel him to the meals, preferring to walk himself.

He was depressed  no matter what we did. He missed his wife, our mother, and there were few hours that went by when he did not refer to some episode in their life together that enhanced the quality of their collective self.

One day after being condescended to by patronizing nurses, and doctors, and food service reps, and blood pressure and pulse takers-- he and I were talking.  He looked terrible and sounded terrible.  We talked about the prospects for improvement. He did not want to entertain this as he thought, presciently it turned out, that improvement was not on the horizon.  Then I mentioned something about a game on the tv and he said with interest:

"How are the Heat doing?'

Close to dying, not able to eat or drink anything worth eating or drinking, confined to a bed and dealing with pontificating pretentious and calloused health care professionals, Dad wanted to know if the Heat would make a run in the playoffs.

It was an example of the lure and attraction of sports and how it can be a shining light in someone's life.  Dad loved the NBA playoffs and I felt his absence yesterday when I watched Kevin Durant play like a magician and the exciting way the Thunder almost defeated the Grizzlies--and then the way the Grizzlies held tough and won the game in overtime. When he was healthy I or Bobby would call Dad after one of these games and ask, if he had seen "that". And regularly he had. And we would talk about the nuances of the game.

I felt bad for Dad last night that he was missing the playoffs.  He would have enjoyed the games to date.  And his pleasure in sports was one of the few uplifting aspects of his last few months of life.

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