Man Plans, God Laughs

Among the laughable plans of man are airline schedules.  This is not the first post I’ve written on this blog while waiting for a late plane at the Philadelphia airport.  But this Yiddish proverb is reverberating much more deeply than the late plane level.

David got off our plane from San Juan here and ran to catch a train to the 30th Street Station in Philadelphia, to get a train to Lancaster.  Wednesday night, after a delightful night swim in the lit pool at the hotel in San Juan, a tiny bit of playing for me in a week heavy with meetings, David got a call from a name he didn’t recognize.  “Who’s Donna?” he asked.   Who would be calling him at 9:30 at night?

“Donna is the name of the woman who helps your parents,” I answered, so he called her back, and got enough information to conclude his father was having a stroke.  He was right.  So now our plans to go to Lancaster the week after next, to help his father arrange additional care for David’s mother whose worsening health is becoming too difficult for him to manage on his own, have changed to taking each day as it comes.  Today, David getting to Lancaster and me going home was as far as we could plan.  David’s father is in the hospital and stable and there are enough family members and friends there to make sure his mother is okay, so I don’t need to be there right now.  Better for me to be home — there are house and garden chores and Adrienne and Matt and Emilio are coming.

On the plane from San Juan we started trying to figure out the next couple of weeks — thinking through the plans we have, when David’s brother will need to leave, when it would make sense for us both to be in Lancaster, for how long, what will we be doing, what’s going to happen. . . .  We gave up.  I’m going home and David is on a train.

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About Grace Mattern

Grace Mattern is a poet, writer, mother, grandmother, partner, friend, family member, gardener, triathlete, hiker and for 30 years was the Executive Director of the NH Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. She resigned her position at the Coalition on June 15, 2011 in order to concentrate on her writing, while continuing to engage in the movement to end violence against women as a consultant and advisor. Her chapbook Fever of Unknown Origin was published in 2001 and her full-length poetry book The Truth About Death was published in 2012.
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