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April 08, 2005

I'm back

I'd like to thank my guest blogger, fee simple, for contributing while I was away helping my father, although I must say that his comparison of me to Warren Beatty has me puzzled.

Early this morning, I tried to post about my father. I wrote at some length about my three days away, but Blogger ate the post. I can't bear to go through the whole thing again, but here's a summary. My father was hospitalized last week with complications that were partly the result of his radiation treatment. If you've never seen your parent in the hospital, I pray that you never have to. I spent Tuesday at the hospital trying to be as encouraging to my father and my mother (who stayed with him the entire time) as I could on his ninth day there. But when I left the hospital that evening, I broke down. My father had suffered heart problems in the early 1990s, and if modern medicine weren't so good, he would not have survived. I've always felt that God gave him a second life, and I thought that somehow this would help me deal with anything that happened to him, but nothing prepared me for seeing him in such a weakened condition in the hospital. The interesting thing is that as I drove back to my parents' house, my mood noticeably brightened. I called my mother and assured her that when my father was discharged the next day, both of them would immediately feel better. That's exactly what happened. I drove my parents home on Wednesday, and my father was fully alert and even made a joke about the traffic. When we reached their house, he all but leapt out of the car and ran into the house (relatively speaking, of course). With some help he climbed the 17 stairs to his room, sat in his favorite chair, and spent the next six hours engaged in his favorite activity -- reading. This is not to say that everything is great -- yesterday was somewhat more difficult -- but the difference between being at home and staying in the hospital is night and day.

A relative who reads this blog asked me why the people who had commented on earlier posts to say they were praying for my father were all Christians. I didn't know, but I really want to thank them for their prayers. It means a lot to me. I think it also speaks very well about their faith that they can pray for the health of someone they don't even know, when we Jews sometimes find ourselves tongue-tied. That said, I do want to mention that last shabbat, our orthodox rabbi spoke glowingly of Pope John Paul II and offered a prayer for his recovery, which unfortunately was not enough.