My dad is in a long term care facility now. People refer to this at LTC. It is no real coincidence that this acronym is a jumble of TLC. Because it feels like a jumble of TLC. A confusion of how you want to love them.
I can hear the music in the lobby and I know I will find him there. The entertainment is here most afternoons. For a minute I hope to find him engaged and happy. The next moment, I hope to find him rolling his eyes and not suffering fools and finding the whole thing cheesy. That would be the dad I know.
I find him engaged in the way he can be. He is singing a little and smiling. He looks like he does not belong. Everyone is grey with crinkly skin and he looks handsome and elegant. They don’t look smart and funny. He does.
Everyone is clapping off key. There is not an ounce of vanity or self consciousness in the room. The singer is belting out “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose”. Indeed.
For the first time ever he says to me when I go to leave “I don’t want you to go.”
Something about girls from the start-we just love drama. It is not enough to say you are tired -“you are exhausted” dying even , your foot is not sore “it may be broken”, it is not a small cramp -you are doubled over in pain. We are not just a little hungry “we are starving to death”. We don’t think we might like something, we actually need it, crave it like oxygen.
We never just like something. We are mad about it, crazy in love with it. The knapsack is sooo heavy, the sky is fantastically blue, American History class was so fantastic, gym class was impossible, the party was the best ever, the new top is so magic, the meal transforms you, the day was perfect.
We don’t walk, we leap
We aren’t just looking forward to something, we anticipate it with every bone in our body
Clothing is not just for staying warm or decent-it is an expression of who we are and the part we are playing
I live in a dramatic house. It is a pink house- all girls- all drama, all the time, bulging at the seams. It is like we are all trying out for the biggest part in the play and each day must be our best most dramatic performance.
It is so good to be alive and be a girl.