Last year, I watched, Twin Peaks: The Return. One of the characters, the Log Lady, is an oracle. She spoke prophesy in poems and riddles, with partly shaded facts and abstract associations.

“Something is missing”, implored the Log Lady. The actress, Catherine Coulson, was dying of cancer when she was playing the part. Her character was also dying of cancer.

My father, an 85-year-old man with Parkinson’s Disease, stage IV prostate cancer, and other diseases, reminded me of the Log Lady. He looked at me this morning, while we were waiting in a waiting room for his transport back to his rehab facility and said,

“What are we doing?”
“We are waiting for the cabulance to take you back to Stafford. That is where you are staying to work on getting stronger so you can go home.”
“Why are we  doing that?”
“Remember when you couldn’t stand up? Now you can stand up. You are going back to Stafford so that you can keep getting stronger.”
“Why are we here?”
“Dad, I’m not sure how to answer that. Where do you think we should be?”
“So, the government is taking away my place.”
“No, Dad. That’s not happening. You are going to Stafford. Your house still belongs to you. No one is taking it away.”
“Why isn’t Joe [his son, my brother] here?”
“Joe is at work.”
“He should be done.”
“No Dad, it is still morning and school [Joe is a teacher] is not out yet. Do you want Joe to call you when he is done?”
“Yes. What does that girl [the palliative care nurse practitioner] want?”
“Dad, she is helping us set up nurses and helpers so that you can return home more quickly. This is paid by Medicare.”

He did not seem entirely reassured but he was quiet. I sat in the oncology clinic waiting room chair and took a deep breath. My mom returned to the waiting room after picking up my dad’s prescription from the pharmacy. I said good bye and took the prescriptions to the rehab facility.

Mom called me shortly afterwards. She explained that Dad thought that when my mom signed a paper at the palliative care office that she was signing away their house and property. “All these years. All that I’ve worked for is gone.”

A life can be a lot of years. A life is always a lot of work.

Something is missing. A lot is missing.

Dad is looking for what is missing. He is missing what is missing.

I so wish we could give it to him, the pieces he is searching for.