Friday, February 8, 2013

He calls me daughter

David called me last week to invite me to his house for their Super Bowl party. And while I am sports-ignorant, I said yes because (as my kids would see it) David and Anita give fabulous parties. And because (as I see it) I love David and Anita.
The spread at their house was a feast--cupcakes and cakes frosted purple, cookies, brownies, fruit salads, veggie salads, and a variety of pasta dishes. I sat on the main level with the women, who hooted and hollered when the players scored.

"Are the guys downstairs?" I asked. "How come they're so quiet?"

"They are in the Man Cave. It's soundproof," someone told me.

At some point, David came upstairs, and when he saw me, he smiled. He sat down next to me, and for the next hour plus, we held hands and watched football.

He had been sick nearly the whole month of January. His breathing is easily labored. His hands shook and trembled in mine. I held them tighter and rubbed them. If I had looked into his eyes, I would have cried.

(When my grandmother was in the nursing home and didn't remember who I was, I noticed how her hands shook and trembled. I remember rubbing lotion onto her old, dry skin--this woman I loved who no longer knew my name.)

I sat next to this man who calls me daughter and holds my hand. He talked to me, hushed, about coming to terms with his physical limits, and how he is dying. He rubbed my hands back. Spoke tenderly to my kids.

After half-time, I packed the kids up under snow flurries to get them home and ready for bed--Sunday night, before a co-op school day. David walked me to the door, watched me to the car, called for me to be careful. I waved back to him cheery, love on my lips.

Went home, and cried.

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