I visited Grandad today for the first time since I heard he had cancer 6 months ago. I was overwhelmed by the positive energy in the room, despite that he was lying in bed in the hospital.
We had a beautiful conversation for about 20 minutes, with my mom and sister present and contributing. He told me he was satisfied with his life. He said some of his happiest times were at Grandad Camp, when he adopted me and my sister Kimberly Young for a week every summer. He schlepped us around Hollywood, spoiling us rotten with fancy dinners, musicals at the best venues, and shopping trips. Most importantly, though, he instilled in us feelings of confidence and self worth.
In his eyes – and my parents – we were capable of anything. Now that we are adults, their predictions have come true. Kim is living and working in Washington DC as a legislative assistant and I have been traveling the world for the past 28 months.
When I was growing up, Grandad was always buying me comic books. Even back then I was constantly drawing and writing. Grandad is a cartoonist himself – birthday cards from him always included his own artwork. Even while I was when I was working in Albany, Western Australia picking strawberries he asked for my address and sent me a copy of Alison Blechedel’s “Fun Home”, a graphic novel. Now I’m currently in the process of writing my own graphic novel.
I also showed him the flute that Tatay Ems made for me – the first one, in the key of C. (I have 3 others at home!) I played him a song, and he said he liked the sound.
In a week Grandad is going to rehab where he will work on moving and eating, two things which he hasn’t done much of in the last few months.
Today, before I arrived, he ate an entire turkey sandwich, which is the first solid food he has consumed in months. He also tried to stand up while I was there, which is a big deal! When I told my Grandma Joyce, who was out of the room at the time, she was SO SHOCKED, I’ll never forget the look on her face!
More thoughts from the day: WE ARE ALL HEALERS. My mom and my sister were each exuding a powerful and unique energy. My father has discovered his own power of infinite compassion.
I AM A HEALER, WE ARE ALL HEALERS. I AM ALL POWERFUL. I AM NOTHING. I AM CAPABLE OF EVERYTHING. I AM TINY AND INSIGNIFICANT. (Again how do you balance these things? Let me know if you have any ideas.)