A Blessed Keynote! How are you doing today?!

by Jody Padar

Published on September 27, 2019


Monday morning after being out of town, most of last week for work:

“So how are you doing today?” asked the twenty-four-year-old social worker from the rehab center.

I know she didn’t intentionally mean to create such a dramatic reaction. I respond, “how am I doing today? How am I doing today? I’m fine! My mom is leaving rehab and headed back to the hospital with an infection. I’m not so concerned about her health as I am about her mental state and losing all the progress, she has made learning to walk again. My Aunt Barb is not doing well, and they called my Dad twice from the hospital last night. Oh, and by the way, I’m leaving town tomorrow for a keynote so I can’t be here for my Mom or Dad. Technically, I could cancel but life has to go on. This is just going to be our new normal.”

I start to laugh at her question. If you don’t laugh at this crazy predicament, you’ll cry.

That morning, I sign my Mom out of the rehab, grab her holy water from the shelf and we are off to the hospital.

I cancel all my meetings for the day and fall into project management mode. I immediately text my brother and tell him to go be with my Dad and Aunt Barb. I stay with Mom and wait. They take her in an ambulance to the hospital. I know I’m leaving town tomorrow, so I coordinate with my sister in law and make sure she can spend the day with my parents at the hospital. While in route, my brother texts that they have given my Aunt Barb a significant dose of morphine and her passing will be soon —in the next couple days. My brother and Dad will meet us in the ER when mom arrives.

My brother meets us, sees Mom briefly and heads back to work. They do a bunch of tests on my Mom, so my Dad and I go get coffee. I can tell my Dad is out of sorts. He is more talkative and antsy than normal. I show my Dad my keynote speech so he can read it as a distraction. Remember, he is my retired CPA partner. My speech is all wet and I realize that the holy water I had grabbed from my Mom’s room has spilled all over my keynote speech and bag.

My Dad takes the holy water away from me because he says he can’t trust me to take care of it and puts it in his cargo pants pocket. He reads my speech and says he’s lived it and wants a nice royalty. We go back to find my Mom and realize the holy water has now spilled all over his pants. We only have about two ounces left. My Mom can’t stop laughing and says we better bless her before my Dad and I spill the rest of the water. I bless us all.

I take what’s left of the holy water and go see my Aunt Barb and say goodbye. She is mostly asleep. I tell her I love her; my brother Stevie is waiting for her in heaven and bless her forehead.

I’m not really that religious, I was raised Catholic, but I wouldn’t call me a religious person. My parents and Aunt Barb are devoted Catholics. I most definitely have faith and believe in God. They move my Mom upstairs to the 8th floor, kitty-corner from my Aunt Barb’s room. My Aunt Barb dies overnight. I swear my mom was admitted so my Dad could be with my aunt and my mom during this time. And our Angel, Krystal, the favorite nurse’s aide was on the shift last night and was able to be with my mom and dad.

I call my Dad this morning, I’m writing this on my way to Miami. He says… “Knock’em dead! You have the most Blessed keynote. You’ll be Perfect!”

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