It's All in the Timing

A co-worker introduced me this new-to-me app called TimeHop. This novel utility, once you authorize access to all of your social networks aggregates your past posts, tweets and photos and pushes a time capsule of your activities so you can reminisce. This morning, curiosity got the best of me and I found myself scrolling through the iPhone app store to download and install.

This week as you may already know has its own sort of reckoning, it being the first anniversary of Dad’s accident, last days and death. (Yes, I know it may seem morbid to keep reiterating our last days together. When you experience the loss of a beloved one you will understand how feeling every moment gets you through the hardest parts of grief.) I was lucky enough to have a friend spontaneously suggest dinner and drinks after work, and that certainly helped dilute the edginess and restlessness.

TimeHop pushed a notification of this day in my past history and rather than pull content from this day last year, it highlighted older stuff. Like how this week in 2012 my Dad & I were in the Bronx. It was the first deposition in Dad’s car accident case a few years back. I just remember how nerve-wracking it was for Dad, and for me, to passively sit back and watch the lawyers grill him.

Kind of like how I had to passively sit back and watch Dad last year as his health deteriorated at a rapid pace, until we had little choice but to make his last days comfortable, preparing ourselves and the rest of the family, to say good-bye.


One Day Last Year

I’d almost forgotten. In the back of my mind, I must have known, although it wasn’t until I physically wrote the date with a blue felt marker on a lined piece of paper that the significance flooded my memory. This day last year was a Monday, the beginning of an average work week. I had plans to meet up with my dear friend Alex for the most amazing dinner at Feast and after a few hours of catching each other up on our lives, I made my way home to Brooklyn.

It wasn’t a late night, and upon my arrival I made my way upstairs to check in on Dad, who I found had dozed off while watching television. I leaned over to rouse him, chattering about my day and dinner, asking him about his day and if he was on track with his medications. He stirred but seemed disoriented. It had been a hot couple of days so I went to the kitchen for a cold glass of water to refresh him. When I got back he was mumbling, the water seemed to waken his senses. I was suspicious though, he had TIAs previously -- and the signs suggested that maybe he had an episode earlier in the evening.

I decided to go upstairs to see if everything was okay--Dad wasn’t always forthcoming with anything that suggested he wasn’t healthy as an ox, or as close to 100% as he could get.  I told him to finish his water and rest a moment. Upstairs things seemed to be in order, the bathroom and hallway were both clear.  I was resetting the portable A/C for the evening when I heard Dad make his way to the stairs. The cadence of his footsteps seemed wrong, rather than the step-step-stomp of his slippered feet and cane hitting each stair, I heard step-step, step-step-stomp. He was using the cane to support him on every other step.

I made my way to the top of the staircase, talking to him about using the cane for support so he wouldn’t fall. He was on the second to last step, I think he may have paused to consider what I was saying, the cane had not yet touched down. In that second before I could even think, before I could reach out, he fell backward, somersaulting down the stairs, only stopping as he made impact with the landing wall and fell into fetal position under the hall table. I hear myself gasp, then shriek. Everything else after that plays out like a stop-motion movie. Dashing down the stairs, calling 911 while coaching my father not to move, the arrival of the ambulance, the ride to the hospital with an EMT driver unfamiliar with south Brooklyn, and the emergency room and ICU at the Lutheran Trauma Center.

It was the third to last day in July 2013.  



Sometimes when I’m in the beginning fugue of a migraine, I have a conversational hiccup, a mental stutter or verbal Tourette. Although a complete anecdotal paragraph streams through my mind, only one or two words that make up some kind of sentence are actually spoken. The migraine haze blurs the lines, and it’s not until hours later after I’ve slept the tension off that I even remember the misstep (or offense).  

Source: Education Portal

Like today, I was talking about beautifying myself for Rich & Mikie’s wedding and during the course of the conversation talked about having my hair and makeup done vs. doing it myself because eyelashes are so difficult to apply yourself. It reminded me that the last time I had my eyelashes applied was back in March for the 2nd to last burlesque show with the girls. I pictured Suzie leaning over Kate then me, applying the glue to the lash and waiting for it to set, then lining up the fake one to the real one to layer it on with precision, one eye at a time. All that storytelling was unfolding like a silent movie in my mind.

Then in a synapse I return to the conversation at hand, a truncated sentence tumbling out of my mouth. “I don’t think I’ve shared this before but I perform burlesque and discovered the glam makeup application, so will need to get someone to apply mine. Then I'll need to find some glitter.” No context that's relatable. No transition statement. No further explanation, just vomited words into the air. In hindsight, not the most standard of water cooler conversations one has at work.