Yesterday, after going on Day 13 in the Hospital, I knew I needed a mental and physical break. My family sent me home early in my brother’s car. Trying not to lose it, I blasted his band’s CD the entire ride home.
I stopped by my Aunt Josephine’s house to pick up a vegetable pasta and salad she had made for us.
When I pulled up in front of our house, I saw a deer. My parents are always shooing them away, because they eat the flowers in their front yard…
…but for some reason, I felt compelled to be quiet and watch it. I turned off the engine and stared.
After nibbling, it walked right up next to the car.
This deer looked right at me, and sat down.
I felt it was a sign, and I wanted to call Abe to share what I was experiencing. But I couldn’t reach him.
So when I turned on the car again, the CD was over and Beethoven’s “Pathetique” was on, the 1st movement. I felt that was another sign. I used to play this piece back in high school, and remembered how difficult it was – and how my father always told me to keep practicing, practicing, practicing until I was awesome at it. And eventually I was, because he taught me perseverance. My father was the most disciplined person I know. He did tai chi and meditation for hours every single morning, for years, even the day before his surgery 2 weeks ago today.
I refer to him in the past tense. Because I heard that my father passed away very soon after I stepped inside the house from my mother, who received the phone call in her car.
When I had left the hospital to say good night, they said he was stable and there was nothing to be concerned about. It was very unexpected, and a total shock.
We rushed back to be with him, and the rest of our family. It was late, and everyone kept telling me I must eat. But I know myself, and I know I don’t eat when I’m not hungry and highly emotional. I will binge.
Around 11:30pm, after we came home and said our goodbyes, I finally had some appetite. So I ate.
And I also had an apple but I didn’t photograph it, because we were talking about how my parents first met. It was a beautiful story.
I slept in bed with my mother last night, but woke up around 4am. I went out to the back porch, where my Dad did Tai Chi every morning, and watched the sun rise.
And look who I saw, around 6:30am.
I struggled with the idea of whether I would continue to blog – especially about food – during this most difficult and traumatic time. For at least two years I haven’t missed a single day, and I know you all would understand if I took a break. But this morning I realized I absolutely have to. Not only because I have to hold myself accountable so that I don’t relapse with my eating disorder, but also because I want to honor my father by staying disciplined like he was. This blog has become a part of my family too. My father was a very private and quiet man, but he not only supported my very public life and how honest I was, but made it clear how much he believed in what I was doing.
My Dad read The Actor’s Diet religiously and felt closer to me because of it. He always told me he learned a lot about me, and about himself, through reading it. And when I announced to him the other day in the ICU that I was the newest Ambassador for NEDA, that was the only time I saw him smile in the last 2 weeks. I asked if he was proud of me, and he nodded.
I’m going to continue to make you proud, Daddy. I love and miss you so much already.