Nuguchi… that’s Garifuna for ‘my father.’ I wasn’t going to blog about this because it’s personal and hard to write about, but it feels strange not to. The snake (which we’ve concluded was a boa after all) wasn’t the only thing I found when I got back from the park patrol. I also learned that my father had had a stroke Wednesday morning. He spent two days in the emergency room of Mass. General Hospital before finally being transferred to the neurology department. He’s in stable condition, lucid as ever, in very good hands and surrounded by friends and family, but it feels strange (bad) for me to not be there, and whether I should be or not is an unresolved issue.
When we spoke on the phone the night of the stroke, he asked about my visit to the park and about any other planned adventures. In fact, he’s part of the reason I’m here, in Belize, on an Advocacy Project fellowship. He’s an environmental lawyer who works in, among other things, wetlands conservation and preservation of historically significant neighborhoods. He taught my brothers and me by example to value the environment, and he taught us outdoor sports and took us on wilderness adventures for vacation. He also gave us the sense that it’s worth fighting big corporations on issues that matter.
I spent my last evening in the States with my dad and brothers, playing tennis and going out to dinner – a tradition we work through our busy schedules to ensure happens at least once or twice a year. Since then, he’s been reading my blog (I know he’s reading this), and sending responses through his amazing assistant, Doug. We’ve talked some, including about spending the last days of the summer on Martha’s Vineyard together.
Of course, I’m hoping for more tennis games and swimming, but I know that first it will be a long struggle through rehab for my dad to return to that place. And at times like this you see that you can’t take anything for granted. What’s reassuring is to know that my dad is someone who works hard for what matters. The hard work starts today. I got word that he’s been transferred to Spaulding Rehab Hospital. Here’s sending you all my love and support, Dad.
Posted By Amy Bracken
Posted Jul 30th, 2011