Thursday, October 27, 2011

Of Prosnostications

It's 1 AM and for the third consecutive night Dad's gotten me out of bed resulting in a false alarm. My eyes sting from sleep deprivation. His behavior is new. I keep asking myself if the adjusted medication is the culprit, or perhaps a waking dream, or maybe those things that go bump in the night interrupted his sleep. I just can't predict when my next attempt at sleep will be derailed.

Usually fall's coolness equals a good night's sleep. The season has an other-worldly feel to it that belies explanation. I marvel at the crispness of the air, the shorten days wrapping itself around me and the garden's rush of activity as it prepares to hibernate.

New Englanders are famous for forecasting the severity of the coming winter through natural occurrences, such as when hummingbirds pack their bags and the woolly worm's attire. If the worm's wearing white we'll be shoveling, black not so much. Folks on my gardening forum post impassioned messages challenging this mythology in the name of the scientific method. It's enough to make one's head spin. I've yet to see the world of mythology and method meld until this week.

My father went to his post-rehab physical with his GP. We (and I do mean we) were treating some things that had cropped up during his stay at rehab. The doctor and his young resident poked and prodded offering an occasional mumble that I didn't quite catch. After the exam, the doctor turned to me and said. "You know this is a prognostication. Get his affairs in order now." All I could do was nod, meaning I hear you, but my brain's not digesting this word too well. My world rocked with the intensity of a 7.0 earthquake. How will I tell my mother?. What are my next steps? My brain kicked into overdrive. We have turned a corner. Since when did those elite members of the medical world offer predictions? I know the word "prognosis" is derived from "prognostication," but I never associated it with fact-entrenched medical science. I have to admit my head still reels from the doctor's two simple statements.

This morning my folks are sleeping-in as the rain pelts what's left of the garden. I'm still wrapping my head around what's to come. I'm allowed to predict, but not to believe the outcome because I don't have a shingle on my front door. I'm allowed to make the best of each moment without trying to waste that present moment with forecasts of gloom and doom. This morning they are both with me. When it's time I'll grieve, but now is not the time. Today, in this moment, we'll celebrate the gift of life no matter its stage with love, laughter, and naps in between. Today the only forecast I will manifest concerns the weather - snow predicted for Saturday evening and we all know that branch of science gets paid to be wrong.

I'll sleep later...


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