After going on Day 13 in the Hospital, I know I need a mental and physical break. My family sends me home early in my brother’s car. Trying not to lose it, I blast his band’s CD the entire ride home.
I stop by my Aunt Josephine’s house to pick up a vegetable pasta and salad she makes for us.
When I pull up in front of our house, I see a deer. My parents are always shooing them away, because they eat the flowers in their front yard…
…but for some reason, I feel compelled to be quiet and watch it. I turn off the engine and stare.
After nibbling, it walks right up next to the car.
This deer looks right at me, and sits down.
I feel it’s a sign, and I want to call Abe to share what I am experiencing. But I can’t reach him.
So when I turn on the car again, the CD is over and Beethoven’s “Pathetique” is on the radio. It’s the 1st movement. I feel that is another sign. You see, I used to play this piece back in high school, and I remember how difficult it is. And how my father would always tell me to keep practicing, practicing, practicing until I’m awesome at it. And eventually I am, 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 two weeks ago today.
I refer to him in the past tense. Because I heard that my father passed away very soon after I step inside the house from my mother, who receives the phone call in her car.
When I left the hospital to say good night, they said he was stable and there was nothing to be concerned about. It is very unexpected, and a total shock.
We rush back to be with him, and the rest of our family. It is late, and everyone keeps 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 come home and say our goodbyes, I finally have some appetite. So I eat.
And I also have an apple but I don’t photograph it, because we are talking about how my parents first met. It is a beautiful story.
I sleep in bed with my mother, but wake up around 4am. I go out to the back porch, where my Dad did Tai Chi every morning, and watch the sun rise.
And look who I see, around 6:30am.
I struggle with the idea of whether I will 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 will understand if I take a break. But this morning, I realize 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 am 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 am 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.