Tuesday, April 22, 2008


While he was at Delta View, fighting to keep sane in a bin with loonies, he asked me EVERY single time I visited, "Didja bring me some Baby Duck?"

As a special treat and a testament of my love for him, I went into a skummy Cold Beer and Wine store in the seediest part of town, and stood in line (the only woman in an establishment filled with men in workboots carrying 3 - 4 cases of beer each) with my chilled $10 bottle of bubbly.

Drew was along for the ride that particular afternoon, so it was his job (once we parked) to open the bottle and pour 5 ounces into an empty gatorade container.

Having watched the servers open Baby Duck for his Bups every Saturday night at the Spaghetti Factory, Drew was a natural. Notice how he carefully pushes up the plastic cork with both thumbs.

Notice the crack in the windshield where the cork blasted into it:

Notice the wine all over the ceiling of the truck:

After he had transferred a few ounces into an acceptable container, we smuggled it and a few games into dad's room.

Drew played "K'nip Spraht" with him for half an hour, then waited while dad and I joined the others in the dining room for the evening meal. After dad had consumed a litre of orange juice, a bowl of soup, 6 crackers and cheese and a bowl of ice cream, I poured the wine into a small glass for him and told him I had a surprise for him.
"Did you buy me my 57 T-Bird?" he asks with a big smile.
"Uh. No."
"Did you bring me Chicken Noodle Soup?" he tries again, smiling wide.
"Uh. No."
He's lost interest in the guessing game, so I hand him the glass and whisper, "I brought you some Baby Duck".
"Oh," he says as he takes a sip.
"Can I go back to my room now?"

Drew and I leave shortly after that.
I drive back to Langley, drop him off at home, pick up some friends and head out to Abbotsford for dinner.
I drop them off at the front door, then 4 x 4 my way through the empty lot and find a spot to park.
Hours later, we all get back to my truck and are overwhelmed by the fumes.
Wine fumes.

I guess the cork wasn't on tight enough, and all the driving shook things up abit. So while I was innocently having dinner, the cork popped off and the wine bottle tipped and the rest of that $10 split all over the floor in the back seat.

Oh but yes.
It happened. I so could not make this stuff up.
By the way? I don't drink.
This was the third time in my entire life that I've been in a liquor store.

My truck?
Smells so strongly of cheap wine it'll make your eyes water. Or your mouth drool depending on your drinking habits.

That's all behind us now and we've moved on.
No one is bitter.
Dad's at home, mom is getting stronger and I'm gingerly making plans...
Clint's birthday dinner - Monday night
Art show in Vancouver - Tuesday night?
Europe meeting at the school - Wednesday night?
A walk and The Office - Thursday night ?
Life? Could it be getting back to normal?

And then, today, while I was in a meeting at work, some messages were being left on my voicemail.
"Jane? Sorry to do this like this, but dad is being taken to the hospital. He collasped twice this morning and ... it doesn't look good. Call me." It was my mom.
"Jane? Dad's on his way to the hospital. I'm heading over there now. Call me." It was my sister.
I called them both back, and they were right. It didn't look good.
He had collapsed twice this morning. Once at home (thank God for Jared) and again at the doctor's office. But when he went down at the doctor's, he lost control of ... things.... Then he turned grey and Dr. I had a hard time finding a heart beat.
Dr. I sat with mom while they waited for the ambulance and told her to prepare herself... this was likely "it".

But once he got settled into emergency, the heart specialist ran a test or two, determined that his potassium levels were WAY crazy out of whack, issued something to counteract that - and voila! Within a few hours, dad's vitals were stablized.

God will take him when it's his time and not one minute sooner.
Clearly, it was not his time.
Have you been keeping score?

At last count the man who is my father has had 18 lives.
Do you know what I did today?
I still have Christmas decorations on my dining room table waiting to be put away.
This thing with my dad? Sucks the energy out of me.
I'm having a hard time with the business of living fully in the midst of all these miracles.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. The sun shone today.
2. The jasmine beside my garage is in full bloom. The scent? Intoxicating.
3. No one cares that there are Christmas decorations on my dining room table.

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