Tag Archives: Philadelphia

How am I?

“How are you holding up?” my lovely friends and extended family ask.

“I honestly don’t know,” is my answer. It’s the truth.

Amtrak

So I take inventory: Continue reading

Lows and highs

“I’m so sorry to disturb you,” I said to the woman next to me.

“It’s ok. I wasn’t sleeping, I was just dreaming,” she replied as I stood to slip past her on the Philadelphia-bound train to visit Dad in the hospital.

I smiled. Across the aisle*, her elderly husband was full-on asleep, arms crossed and head bowed. He was older than his wife who had taken the lead in finding seats and then in ensuring his comfort.

Looking at them as a couple, I thought of my mother, fit and strong and ten years younger than my father. Growing up, I never thought of their age difference as a big deal. Now, Dad’s age and health conditions are yielding a lot of heartache.

I’m trying not to equate love with pain and loss. But right now, it’s so very hard. Someday everyone I love will be gone. I too will leave this earth someday. And because I don’t have the crutch of believing in heaven, these feelings are a heavy burden.

Dad’s condition is stable now, but eight days into this hospital stay, we have no sense of when he might be ready to go home. No independence for Dad this July 4th.


Rehoboth

I usually spend Independence Day with a family group in Rehoboth Beach. This year, there was an issue with the house we stay at so even if Dad were healthy, we were not going to be able to spend the holiday there together as is our tradition. Continue reading

Greetings from Philadelphia

Hello friends,

My sweet Dad is back in the hospital so I hopped a train south from NYC today (Sunday) for some quality time. Hopefully a medication adjustment for this lousy condition gets him back to well pronto.

I grew up two hours from Philly and have visited plenty, but it’s still completely foreign to me.

Even in the city’s rundown parts, the architecture is breathtaking. Divine Lorraine Hotel is one example. I am fascinated with this building–and apparently I’m not the only one. There’s even a t-shirt.

A deal was recently made to reclaim the building and create apartments. Can you imagine living in this historic building?

More pics via Instagram (which aren’t embedding for me today – apologies):


I hope you’ll keep Dad in your thoughts. And I hope you’ll be patient with my lack of blog posts right now. I’ll be back on track soon.

After Philly: 2 hours in the car with Dad

While I was in Philly, my family suffered two losses. Sunday, in particular, was an awful day.

On Monday, once it was clear that my father was doing well post-procedure and would be released the next day, my mother made the trip north to Scranton while I stayed behind to wait for Dad‘s discharge. Her departure ensured that I got to watch The Bachelorette in the hotel.

On Tuesday, Dad was beyond eager to get home. After six days in a narrow hospital bed, being awakened at all hours for checks of his vital signs and numerous needle sticks, who could blame him? Dad desperately wanted to put on his own clothes and escape, but he still had a heart monitor on him and an IV port for medication delivery. While we waited for final orders, I used a lime popsicle to get him to behave and sit still.

Are all men children for life?

When he got sprung from jail the hospital, we made a break for it.

Together we drove up the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Mom’s Cadillac. Traveling by car with Dad is better than driving with my mother (sorry, Mom). He lets me control the radio and doesn’t criticize my driving.

In fact, he typically falls asleep for approximately 49% of any car trip. It’s only weird when he raises an arm and points zombie-like mid-snooze. Given how much he uses his hands when awake and talking, this should not have surprised me. Dad blames being Polish for that (and lots of other things).

We spent most of the drive tuned into XM-Sirius 90s’ station. Dad didn’t know TLC’s No Scrubs when it came on, but I noticed him tapping his toes to the music and took that as an invitation to give him the history of Chilli, T-Boz and most importantly, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, as well as to explain the concept of a ‘scrub.’

Dad is now fully on-board with the fact that women don’t want or need no scrubs. A scrub would get no love from him should I accidentally date one.

Telling Dad that Left Eye was the one who burned down Andre Rison‘s mansion really put the whole story into focus. He seemed appropriately sad when I told him that Left Eye died in a car accident in Central America.

I was about to tell him about T-Boz’s battle with sickle-cell anemia and Chilli’s history with Usher, but then Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch’s Good Vibrations came on and I had to keep up.

Dad had never made the connection between the actor he likes, Mark Wahlberg, and the dude who “sang” with a funky bunch and lifted cinder blocks on a barbell.

I don’t own this image

I didn’t bring up the wonderful Calvin Klein campaign. There are limits to the things I will discuss with my father. I did, however instruct Dad never to call Mr. Wahlberg “Marky Mark” should he ever meet the actor. Can’t have Dad’s handsome face getting punched.

After passing through the Lehigh Valley tunnel, we hit construction-related traffic. Neither of us were bothered. We had great tunes and even better conversation to help us pass the time.

I intend to drive my father around again when I’m back in Scranton in a few weeks. We haven’t yet exhausted the possibilities of 90s on 9, but there’s still the 80s station.

Philly

Dad is in the hospital.

In Philly two hours from home.

So Mom and I are also in Philly. In violation of all privacy laws, I will tell you that Dad is getting a pacemaker.

Honestly, I’m more anxious about my impending apartment search and move (note: I am not staying put after all thanks to a big rent hike) than Dad’s procedure. At first glance, you’ll probably think I’m a self-involved ass for that.

But I swear: apartment hunting in NYC is generally more stressful than getting a pacemaker. Weird, right?

I’m approaching Dad’s procedure as a great thing actually. The doctor thinks he’ll feel like a new man once the pacemaker is in. Fingers crossed.

I hope to return to NYC Tuesday. And to blogging soon after that.

xoxo

Update: Dad’s procedure went great.