Sunday, July 25, 2010

magic

My daughter asked me the other day if I believed in magic. She knows me to be a sceptic, a person not readily convinced of fanciful ideas. And yet there are many everyday occurrences that seem to me unexplainable and astonishing. So while I don't believe that David Copperfield's performances are real and true, I told Laura that I do believe in magic. And this is the example I gave her:

A middle-aged man sat wringing his hands by his father's hospital bedside. The silver-haired father tossed and turned, muttering and grumbling. His mind was affected by his pneumonia, and he was confused and agitated. Over and over, the dark-haired son patiently explained to his father where they were, what was happening. He pushed the oxygen prongs back into place. He quietly beseeched his father to take his medication. The father scowled and refused.

With his wrinkled right hand, the father reached out in front of him, grasping at something that wasn't there. He muttered to himself, bitterly, "They're trying to poison me, I know they are." The son sighed. "No, Dad," he reasoned. "They're trying to help you get better." The old man continued to pick and grab at nothing, his tired arms working as he reached and reached for some imagined object.

The son turned wearily to his father's bedside table, and picked up his father's bible. In a slow, calm voice, he began to read his father's favourite section of the bible. The son read patiently, steadily, while his father's hands plucked at the air and his father growled and shifted and mumbled to himself. The father showed no sign of listening. Still the son read in his quiet, measured tones - he didn't know what else to do. The son read for an hour, maybe two. It seemed like a long time, reading to his dear Dad, who was too sick and too delusional to understand. It seemed pointless, but he read to his father out of heartbreak and love and despair. When the nurses began to turn the lights off all around him, the son finally closed the bible. He touched his father's hand, and wished him goodnight. The old man didn't even glance his way.

The next morning, the son returned to the hospital to an entirely different scene. His father was sitting up in bed, smiling at his nurse, and eating breakfast. He greeted his son warmly, and his son sat down in a chair near the bedside. They chatted together, father and son, and the son's relief was huge. The father spoke of politics, and of family, and of football. The son was amazed at the change in his father, and he laughed in shaky gratitude at all his Dad's jokes

Towards midday, the dark-haired son stood to leave. The father turned his kind, lined face to his son, his second-born, his much loved grown-up boy.
"Thank you for reading the bible to me last night."

The son's eyes blurred with tears.




(My eyes blurred with tears, too, when I heard this story a few days ago. Because the father is my father-in-law, and my husband is the son.)

30 comments:

Motherkitty said...

Jellyhead, you have been absent all this time. I keep checking back in and am sorely disappointed that you are MIA. That is, however, until just now when I again checked. And what to my wondering eyes should appear -- a bit of magic. A tale so poignant that it did indeed bring tears to my eyes.

My brother-in-law has been hospitalized for about a month and his situation is similar to this gentleman's. Because my sister is going through such a difficult time I think I should suggest she do what the son has done in your story. Maybe it will calm BIL down some and ease the situation.

You are wise to tell your children that you believe in magic because it's all around us. Magic in the form of nature, beauty, love, life, and compassion.

Welcome back to bloggyland.

Motherkitty said...

I'm very happy your FIL is feeling better, thanks to your sweet husband.

Mary said...

that is a beautiful and magical story.

all the more beautiful and magical because it is true.

thisisme said...

Beautiful, magical. I hope he continues to improve

Jellyhead said...

Thanks Motherkitty, it's good to hear from you. I'm sorry to hear your brother-in-law is ill, too.

Hi Mary and thanks for your lovely comment.

thisisme, thank you. My father-in-law seems to be better one day and worse again the next, but we are crossing our fingers that he recovers fully.

Don said...

Wonderful story.

Susan said...

Thanks Jelly for sharing your magical family story, so good to hear from you again!

Dr Andrew Brown said...

Absolutely fascinating from a neuropsychiatric point of view, and most poignant from a personal point of view. It would be quite reasonable to call this a miracle.

Stomper Girl said...

What a beautiful touching story. I hope your FIL continues to feel better.

Puss-in-Boots said...

Hello Jelly, what a beautiful story and thank you for sharing it. I hope your father-in-law is out of hospital now and feeling a lot better.

I do believe in magic, especially the kind you've written about. It happens too often not to believe...

rel said...

testing

rel said...

Jellyhead,
I attempted to comment here the day you posted but blogger was being difficult that day I guess.
Anyway let me say "old" friend that it's good to see your words again! I've missed you.
Like you, I believe in a different kind of magic than the entertainment variety; the internet is one example. Are we, you and I really exchanging thoughts with each other or is this merely a dream?
The power between humans is wonderous as the tale you have shared with us here today shows. Truly gives one pause and faith!
rel

manababies said...

Magical indeed. :)

eryn said...

I enjoy your blog, thanks for posting again Jelly :). Wish your father in law all the best!

Michelle said...

you are back - lovely!!

I believe in magic too after reading that lovely post. Thank you.

Gorgeous background too

michelle

Alice said...

Your eyes are not the only full of tears, Jelly.

We hear time and again that love can work wonders in ways we cannot comprehend, perhaps even magical ways.

We sincerely hope your father-in-law recovers soon and that you'll have many more loving family times together.

Thank you for sharing this story, Jelly.....it certainly has magic...it brought you back to the blogs, even if only briefly.

I hope you and your lovely family are keeping well, Jelly. You may have read that ours has grown and flown, so to speak.

Meggie said...

I believe in Magic...but not the Copperfield kind of magic.
Love, and hugsXX

Kerri said...

Oh Jelly, now my eyes are blurred with tears. What a beautiful story. I'm so glad I stopped by and found it. Thanks so much for sharing it.
Magic indeed - The power and compassion of love and God's Word.
I do hope you FIL has recovered and is feeling well again by now. I can fully empathize because we nearly lost my hubby to pneumonia in early May. What a scary experience!
What a sweet son your hubby is - Like his father, no doubt.
Sending hugs and hoping all is well. xoxo

Motherkitty said...

I'm very sorry for your family's loss. I can feel your pain all the way here in Kentucky, USA. Love to you.

Alipurr said...

I am thankful you got this story written down, Jelly. I am very sorry for your loss, and will be praying for God's comfort in your lives. My husband lost his Daddy (step-dad) almost 3 years ago, and it has been one of the hardest things we have ever gone through. Missing Daddies is very hard. Gentle hugs to all your family. I agree with DrAndrewBrown about it being a miracle that occurred when your husband read the Bible to his Dad, and the change that followed unexpectedly. Thank God that He gave your father-in-law those moments of clarity and calm. as always, thank you for sharing with us.....

Kerri said...

Beautiful words thoughtfully put together to make a moving tribute to your sweet and much-loved father-in-law. Thanks for sharing them dear Jelly.
You and your husband and family have our sincere sympathy and prayers in your loss.
Love and hugs,
Kerri and Ross
xoxoxo

adrr123 said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

TUFFENUF said...

I am SO happy that you posted again! I have sorely missed you! I am so sorry to hear about your father-in-law. He sounds like a wonderful man. Thanks for sharing all your personal thoughts. I hope you continue to post, I will continue to check. Email me anytime, especially if you plan a trip to New York City - I will give you all the scoop!

Alipurr said...

stopping by to say Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

Andrew said...

That is one of the most wonderful stories I have ever read, and even more so because it is true ... and even more poignant because of the post that follows. I am sorry for your loss. My prayers go out to you and your husband, and the rest of your family.

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