I sit in class concentrating on the words coming from the professors mouth. We are discussing body theory, theories of the body and how the body is perceived, bu tmy mind is so far from here. I return to last January. My grandma had fallen and broken her hip, spending a few days in the hostpial, a few months at the nursing, a few more months in her own home being visited by aides who came bathe her and give her physical therapy. She never returned to the woman she once was. When we knew it was too much for her to be on her own, we moved her into my parents’ house and their dog was her daily companion until they got home from work. They took constant care of her.
I return to the task at hand, which is a new and different class in which I am supposed to focus on my past and my life and the issues that concern me. I put them down in black and white on paper to be turned in, passed around, and graded. My life, graded and on display. I think to myself that I would give my life a C. It is average. But then my mind wonders to my dad and his new pacemaker, and the five years they said he had left. I see him in a green flowery hospital gown, smelling of the yeast infection that had grown on his swollen fevered body, and I recognize the frailty of life. When I was little he was my hero, and now he is so tender and soft. And so hard to recognize as the man who once could lift the back end af a small car like a sack of potatoes. This was the man who used to insist that we break the ice on the pond in front of our house to take a swim. It’s good for the soul, he would say.