Friday, May 20, 2005

Finding Our Way Together

This afternoon, I drove my Dad to the cancer clinic for his daily radiation treatment. I usually drop him off at the door and wait at a nearby park until I get the 'nudge' that he's ready to go home. Funnily enough, he seems to enjoy going in on his own and every day he has a story to share. I love to hear his light hearted tales - moments when he forgets all his troubles. I've sat with my Dad in waiting rooms and he has, when he's of a mind, a truly great capacity to lift the spirits of all those around him.

On our way home today, I ask my Dad if he'd like to walk the new labyrinth with me. My Dad agrees without apparent hesitation though I catch that look - the one where he ever so slightly shakes his head and I know he's thinking, "Here she goes again with her crazy ideas." My Dad, being the dear soul that he is, loves me so he indulges the moment.

We walk up to the round and find the entrance. (The labyrinth path has yet to be painted. A strong pencil outline marks the way.) I explain to my Dad that all he has to do is follow the path to the centre. He goes first and I follow. Within a brief time, my Dad is well ahead of me. I can feel his determination gather strength as it always does when he has a goal. I continue to walk a meditative pace as I watch the distance between us lengthen.

The labyrinth has many loops and curves as it winds its way. My Dad is now walking beside me on an adjacent path. A few moments later and my Dad now passes me walking in the opposite direction. A few more moments go by and my Dad is rounding a curve on the far side of the circle. This dance continues to weave until I hear my Dad declare, with excitement, that he has arrived at the centre. I join him perhaps three minutes later and, standing together, we talk about the panoramic view the centre affords. We both have a sense of awe. It is a perfect spring day.

My Dad sets off on the journey out before I do. I watch him as he walks away, his pace slower than when we started. Finishing, my Dad rests on a steel black bench and waits for me. When I sit down beside him we talk about our walk. I ask him how he feels and he says his mind is clearer and his emotions are quieter. I sense he is feeling more peaceful and this makes my heart sing.

As we walk back to the car, my Dad tells me that, even though he hasn't always taken the time to do things like this, he really likes doing them with me. I smile and I tell him I know.


Blogger Nick said...

A heart warming tear making tale. Thank you for sharing. It is 25 years this week since my father died of leukemia. He would have enjoyed walking with you.


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