Excuse Me... 6-20
Sunday, October 28, 2007

Dear Readers,

I've decided that there's a club I don't want to belong to.  I'm one of its newest members and I detest it.  It's a club that consumes you in your waking hours and haunts you while you sleep.  It's a club that you'll never understand the scars that they bear unless you've  been there.  It's the club for those who have lost one of their parents.  I don't belong to any other clubs like this one.

I've decided that I wish that the people I love could live forever.  Wishful  thinking on my part.  My father was very sick.  When he was healthier, I was the one who would visit my childhood home and take care of the grooming.

"Daddy, c'mon.  Your feet aren't looking too well.  Let me give you a pedicure."  That was my job.  I was always the one doing facials for my brother and my father.  I know the pleasure of having a steaming towel wrapped around my face and my feet simultaneously.  Men should be pampered too, even if it is by the 'girls' in the family.

As I snipped and pumiced my father's feet, I noticed that one of his toes was very black.  I touched it and asked him why was it black.

He said, "Aw, Rina, don't worry about it."  He was like that though.  He never wanted us to worry about much of anything.  When will men begin to understand that if they do not take care of themselves they will affect the entire family.

Over the years, my thoughts go back to that day.  I wondered why he always wore black socks.  I wondered if he had went to a trained pedicurist, would she or he have told him that he had the signs that his diabetes were affecting his limbs.  For once, I don't think I know an answer to a question.

When  I was a kid, I was always asking questions that didn't have a rhyme or reason.  My father was a New York City police officer.  He was a proud man in blue.  He raised three outspoken girls (believe me if you met my mother, you would understand where all the energy comes from). 

I remember once asking my father if he had ever killed anyone.  I remember how wide eyed I was about my brashness.  The audacity of me to ask him that question.  But there I was hardly old enough to know my multiplication tables and I was asking the question.

My father became really quiet.  He had a quizzical look on his face and said, "You ask too many questions. When I walk through the door, I leave my job and my duties there."

I could tell that my father did not want to talk about his health just as he did not want to talk about his job.  I didn't push it, nor did I know what diabetes really was or the damage it will do to your body if you are not extremely diligent.

In my office hangs a picture of my father walking me down the isle at my wedding.  It was a beautiful day and there were no signs of weather disruptions.  We were by the marina and I can still smell the salt water and hear the bobbing of the sailboats in the water.  My father was the father-of-the bride and the photographer and he was good at it.

I have decided that I'll always remember him walking me down the aisle and not as a double amputee.  I'm struggling myself to not ask any more questions especially why.

The only thing I want to know from him now is how great does it feel to run marathons in heaven.  I want to whisper in his ear, "Daddy, rainbows are heavens running tracks and from now on every time I see one I will picture you straddling hurdles like a superstar cop athlete you were in real life."

I’ ll get through this but a lot of lives have been lost this year in Lansing, Robert, Brandon, Ruth and a lot of others.  Continue to love yours like everyday will be your last.  It will make everyone around your live and flourish.


Rina Risper

Please pray for my family in New York.   Thank you.


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