A few minutes ago I picked up the voice mail, two actually, left hours apart but containing precisely the same information. Left this morning? I don’t know, there’s no time signature on the messages. The battery went dead, maybe yesterday, and I just plugged it in. My step father has been moved to hospice care. The decision has been made. In his next crisis, no meaningful measures to save his life will be taken. Meantime, his pain medications will be increased and attempts made to keep him comfortable.
It took a few minutes for sadness to overtake me. At first, and for a time, nothing, just acknowledging, absorbing, processing the information. I was asked to pray in the messages, and I wondered then, and afterwards, pray for what? That he become healthy? That he live forever? A miracle? I had no answer. Pray for what. And just now I figured it out, guessed, the right answer to the riddle. Pray for peace, peacefulness, acceptance. Prayer doesn’t change the external world. It changes minds. Apparently.
Very softly, like the onset of trembling, I started to weep, slow, quiet, as a hesitation. Alone, but I covered my face. Not loud. Very soft. A dear man, that I have loved, and who I think loved me.