Sunday, September 16, 2007

documenting change: two.

My dad, the globe trotting senior citizen, didn’t make it in Ghana. I don’t know the details, but he must have been completely lonely and like a fish out of water and maybe stunned by suddenly living as a guest in the home of strangers. Plus, he found out he was going to be teaching a class by himself, when initially, he’d been told he would act as an aide to another teacher. It was something he didn't feel confident he could do. He also felt overwhelmed by the “primitiveness” of the area. And there’s more that I am sure he hasn’t articulated.

Now he has left Ghana and, after a one-night stay and day of sightseeing in Dubai, has landed in India, where he’ll visit with relatives for the next few months before flying home to the US.

I was disappointed initially. But what right is it of mine to be disappointed? It’s not as if he didn’t try something new and unabashed, something to jolt himself out of a fixed state of loneliness and self-perceived purposelessness.

Now, him sitting in India, I am happy he can visit his sister and brother and other relatives. Glad to know he’ll be surrounded by people he has long-known.

And I am equally anxious and terrified that he will come home in December only to pounce upon us another great shock of some sort – he’s engaged, he’s selling his house, he’s moving to another state. Who can even predict what the news may be? But again, what right is it of mine to be anything except supportive of my dad’s decisions? Of whatever he needs to do to live out the rest of his years happy and content and feeling full?

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