September 9, 2009

Missing Dad

Missing Dad in an awful, awful way.

Finally got to spend some quality time with Littlest Sister after more than 10 years separation. The last time we saw each other prior to this year was at our father's funeral. She was only six. Now, she's seventeen.

Looking through old photographs of the Dad I knew, the Dad she knew, and the Dad we both knew for a brief time. All at once the most uplifting -- and the most heartwrenching -- experience I've had in years.

In the earlier photos, a healthy man with color in his cheeks, confident stature, wide smile.

In later photos...his deteriorating health was agonizingly evident. Severe edema, bruises from the daily insulin shots, and his expression...tired as if he'd lived ten lifetimes.

And then he wasn't in the photos anymore.

I'm unnerved and affected. I don't allow myself to miss him -- really, really, really MISS him -- except on rare occasions when I'm led to recall certain painful memories I try so hard to let be.

Tonight is one of those nights when I miss him so much, I can feel him sitting right next to me in the room. I can hear his voice, his breathing that did not come easy in the last days.

He would be 69 this year. Eleven years I've been without my father.

September 7, 2009

Notes from Prolificacy

I've lost my command of time.

For the past week (or more), writing sessions have been constant, consistent, and intense. I gave up trying to fight against the daily creative rhythm and have given over to it entirely.

Writing and editing twelve hours at a time, a couple hours of sleep here, more writing and editing, a couple more hours of sleep there.... I'm a nasty mess, but the material is getting onto the page, and it's getting reworked right away.

Oh, the kids have done such a fantastic job coping with me this time around. Sometimes, I feel guilty they're somewhat forced to self-sufficiency. But the guilt is softened by the kids' pride in their new accomplishments.

Bunny fried up hash browns for the first time, all by herself. She learned the hazards of popping vegetable oil, but she didn't mind. She was too satisfied with the meal and the fact SHE was responsible for feeding everyone.

And Priss has taken such good care of me. Another briar hooked in the heart, considering she shouldn't be seeing to me, that instead I should be seeing to her. But she gains a sense of satisfaction, too, knowing she has a small, adult-like power to nurture. When the alarm goes off for me to take my meds (and I ignore it), she brings me a glass of ice water and the little pills in the palm of her hand. She stands there until I take them.

I do what I can to convey the amount of work I'm getting done -- and the importance of it. They ask to read what I've written, but I tell them it's an "adult story. I promise you can read it when you're older."

Still in the umpteenth revision of Chapter 2, but I have a clear conscience about "progress" insofar as the big picture goes. I'm confident I'm making quality changes and creating quality material, rather than bleeding out superficial, sentimental drivel.

I keep pushing and keep pushing. Far enough into the book, I know "The End" will come.