No surprise that we’re here waiting. This is life when you get to the age when you count your blessings and count the days. The worst thing we could do to our parents would to pre-decease them, so the best requires us to say goodbye.

There’s a Buddhist story. A peasant man saves up until he can afford to pay a monk to write him a blessing to adorn the family altar. He watches the monk cover the scroll with flowing calligraphy, and asks him respectfully what the blessing says.

‘Grandfather dies, father dies, son dies.’ says the monk.

The peasant is outraged. ‘I gave you everything I had to buy a blessing, and you have written me a curse!’ he cried.

‘On the contrary’, said the monk. ‘If the father died before the grandfather, or the son before the father, this would cause terrible suffering to the family. If each dies in his time, this is the way of the universe and everything is as it should be.’

The peasant was satisfied that he had truly been blessed.

Of course, the monk did not write that the family would enjoy longevity, or be spared any other of the thousand fates that could befall them, because the monk had no power or knowledge of that. The best we can hope for in this world is that we have our time, and don’t leave our parents bereaved.

My Dad is in the hospital now, we hope he will come home soon. Meanwhile we are taking turns watching over him and talking to the nurses and doctors. He’s at Kent County, they’ve been wonderful and we’re all in agreement that he should be discharged as soon as it’s safe. Still, there have been failures of communication between the ER and the unit, the VA and Kent. We’ve ironed that out and have been his voice and protection from falls that can happen in an instant no matter how good the staff. The staff has been good about letting us camp out here and help with the care– I haven’t had a huffy or officious word spoken to me in three days.

If we are blessed, we are here to help our parents in their time, and that is the best we can hope for in this world.