Tuesday, June 21, 2011

California Dreamin'

I can't believe I am even writing this. I don't even like California that much. But, these gray days of summer in the city are seeping into my mood. The endless Pacific, a blue sky, dry air....sound good to me right now.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dad's Passing

Dad passed from this earthly life last evening. It was simply the most profound, beautiful, mysterious experience I have had since giving birth. We were all there. In the room, there was nothing to breathe but love.

My brother and I were reading Joseph Campbell this week - the whole process of dying seems so mythological. We found a quote - this one from the tale of Parzival - one of Campbell's favorite stories of the hero's journey. It describes my father as I could not.

He was gifted with the paired virtues of courage and compassion, to which was added loyalty. And it was through his steadfastness in these--not supernatural grace--that he won , at last, the Grail.

Thank you all for your care, your words, your prayers for me and my family during this time. I am so grateful for the friends and clients in my life. We all just know when life matters so deeply, that everything else drops away.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

My Father's Smile

Dad a few weeks ago.

Dad, at Thanksgiving last year.

Dad 5 years ago.

Today we put Dad in a hospice care home. It was too much for Mom to have him at their own home any longer. At 80, she has been heroic in her care for him since he was diagnosed last fall with Lymphoma of the bone marrow - all the time, taking care of the home, the laundry, the shopping, and more recently, the cooking. We knew when Dad stopped cooking and baking bread, his days were numbered. Today, for the first time in his life, he did not want to get dressed. He always has dressed thoughtfully, thinking about how his shirt will look with his pants. His own mother taught him to do that. When Dad didn't want to get dressed today, Mom knew something had changed.

It is so hard to write this. I don't even know if I should. But, then I think that everyone either has or will go through this. It isn't a secret that we die. It isn't something to be ashamed of. I have learned that it is a profound experience to witness and move through the death of someone so eternally close to you. I couldn't have imagined. Birth and Death are so yin and yang - so painfully and preciously complementary.

The last few days at home, his pain was so deep and unrelenting at times, that we would hear him breathing with a kind of moan on the outbreath. It was private. He was not grandstanding. It is the real deal. The only thing I could compare it to is the labor of childbirth - how the breath is used to take the attention off the pain and somehow move through it, to accept it. Dad said today, when I asked him how he was at one point, he smiled at me and said, "You just accept it."

What is most remarkable to me is this. In this unimaginable pain - of a raging cancer in the bone, with tumors jutting out of his fragile chest, with numbness and pain so deep into his body cavities, I cannot talk about it, he is still able to smile and say "Thank you."

When I was there this weekend, I asked, "Dad, would you like to join us on the patio for wine?"(What a stupid question, I soon realized. He can no longer move about safely.)

He smiled at me fully. "No, honey."

I began to walk out the door.

"But...thank you," he said.

Later, when I went to tuck him for the night, laying there so broken and fragile, I held his hand. "I hope you have a peaceful night," I said.

"I'm sorry to put you through this," was his reply.

I told him how honored I am to go through this with him. He is not bitter, or niggling, or angry. He has been courageous, patient, and grateful through the entire process. He has shown me not only how to live, but how to die. I am one lucky girl.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Baxter: Made in Italy

Killer good furniture. Running out to a photo shoot, so don't have time to write much. But as I am looking for some new things in furniture for clients, I went to the Baxter site this morning. I have only seen it advertised in my shelter mags. wow. Makes you just want to move to Italy.

Oh, yeah, I already wanted to do that. Still...take a look!

Here is the website: http://www.baxter.it/2008/eng/baxter.php

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

As if Hot Flashes aren't bad enough, it has to be 102 degrees?

It is almost 9. I am sooo ready for bed. Not sleeping. Too hot. Awake every 2 hours soaking my sheets with night sweats. Menopause is stupid. As if aging isn't bad enough, losing your waist and gobbly looking necks, the gods have to throw this at us too? Is this the older woman's version of pimples? Give me pimples anyday. I'm not happy. I have always loved hot weather and humidity - until now! It is like I am in a constant hot flash - a constant Charleston, SC August.

Lee came to hug me tonight and told me I was so hot.

Really? That's so nice of you, honey. But because I am so tired, I don't really feel that "hot."

Then, of course, I realized he meant the temperature of my body was insane. Like dripping. Like boiling. Not the other kind of "hot."

Our apartment is 80 degrees with 3 air conditioners running. I read that the body of a woman having a hot flash rises 6 degrees on the skin! Isn't that like 104 degrees! if our body temp is normally 98.6!!! Jeesh. Too much hot.

Right now, I am sweating on my sofa. Ringing wet. Please advise if you have any tips.
Of course, if I wait a few days, it could be snowing again here in Minnesota.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

style. like, how do you even do this? why am I drawn to this?

Giovanna Battaglia's bag. What is it? An image of the Madonna on see-through lace? She is currently the fashion editor at L’Uomo Vogue and also works as a freelance stylist. She was a former model for Dolce e Gabbana. Whether in a home or an outfit, I love love love these little personal moments of self-expression.

Photo from Garance Dore. (www.garancedore.com) Fabulous site.