‘Puter hasn’t written much lately. He’s had a lot going on.
Regular readers know ‘Puter’s Dad has advanced dementia and has been declining rapidly. ‘Puter’s Mom put him in a memory care facility (nursing home) last Wednesday. While in the Greater DC Metroplex and Traffic Thunderdome, ‘Puter also put Laptop on a plane bound for London, where he’s studying abroad this semester. Upon ‘Puter’s return home, his beloved mutt promptly had something resembling a mini-stroke, where she lost control of her rear right quarter for a couple of hours.
But this post isn’t about negativity. It’s not about wallowing in despair and depression. It’s about making the conscious choice to find light in darkness.
‘Puter and Laptop showed up at Historic ‘Puter’s Childhood Home late Thursday evening, just in time to have dinner (pork tenderloin, if anyone cares) with ‘Puter’s Mom. After dinner , as ‘Puter’s Mom and Laptop cleaned up, ‘Puter eavesdropped on their conversation.
‘Puter’s Mom was explaining to Laptop how, with the trees winter-bare, she could look out her kitchen window, across about a half-mile of empty space, and see the lights of the ‘Puter’s Dad’s nursing home. ‘Puter’s Mom went on to say how that simple act, looking out the back window and seeing ‘Puter’s Dad’s light, kept her connected to him even as his mind slipped further and further away.
As ‘Puter sat there, pretending not to listen and fighting back tears, he could only think of this:
Involuntarily I glanced seaward—and distinguished nothing except a single green light, minute and far away, that might have been the end of a dock.
And ‘Puter realized in that moment that he is – that we are all – on a lifelong journey at sea, seeking the light at the end of our dock. Our only job is to cling to each other and beat on, boats against the current, as we are borne back ceaselessly into the past.
With that, ‘Puter stirred his coffee a bit more, got up, and hugged his mom.