Raffi (Canadian children’s singer/entertainer/activist) on CBC Radio this morning. I catch two memories.
Walking into Dad’s room at the Home where he spent his last four months. He is yelling out in distress, begging me to get a nurse, pleading me to get him out of the Home, beseeching me to take him to the river and dump him in the water (needless to say Talking Heads’ “Take Me to the River” became our song). On this one harrowing afternoon I had no idea how to soothe him. I ran to get a personal support worker (PSW). She told me she just left his room and he was fine. She came regardless. This beautiful tatooed, honey raw voice PSW pulled a chair right up to Dad. Eye to eye. Knees to knees.
“Whats happening there now Bernie?”
I backed out, stood at the doorway, gnawed on raw finger flesh while readying myself to flee to the river. Next thing you know this increasingly charming woman rolls forth Raffi’s ‘Down By the Bay’. She’s pulls her chair right up to dad’s wheelchair, now straddling his knees asking him if he ever saw a moose dining with a goose? She is belting out the chorus, ‘Down by the bay where the watermelons grow, back to my home i dare not go…’ and Dad has stopped his restless roar and is now tapping his slippered feet and smiling into Ms. super gorgeous super cool PSW’s eyes and now singing with her inquiring if she’s ever seen a rat doing a cat. I step more fully into the room, no longer chewing hands but clapping and laughing and singing along.
Second Raffi memory: Maya in the back seat humming, Baby Beluga between her cheeks while licking up a mini soft vanilla dairy queen cone. she is now singing and licking and smiling and singing and smiling and licking. Theo and I in the front seat buzzing/singing “baby baluga of the deep blue sea, swim so free…’ when we notice a tiny voice absent. Rear view mirror, Maya head bowed, tiny mouth stuck to cone, fast asleep.
shoKRAWN dear Raffi!