The inevitability of loss looms over my soul and stabs my heart like the owl who pierces the still night by screeching under a thin slice of moon outside my window. I hope father is sleeping peacefully with mom. Eyelids impossibly heavy, he rests more each day. Sometimes Dad slurs his words and doesn’t finish his sentences. Yet he gets out of the chair and scoots around the yard with his walker filling the bird feeders. The whites of his eyes darken more yellow each day. His body shrinks. Dad misses the ability to read since jaundice weakens eye muscles but his spirit gets him out of the chair without assistance, up and down stairs, into his little black pickup to “drive the fence” and check the horses.  

Mom too is losing weight but holding up. A dear sweet little bird that frets and flutters, feels and fusses, loves and hurts. Aunt Liz and Uncle Rollie are arriving today to keep watch over the two of them. Tomorrow I must leave for Chocolate City, USA with chisels packed, my heart torn, deep breaths and plenty of faith. Juggling phone calls with Hospice nurses and Nestle, the bank and my accountant, a few museums and two pet sitters, life continues. Just shy of 3 weeks since Dad’s pancreatic cancer prognosis, I drink deep from the cool night air, listen to the owl, shuffle exhibit agreements and post-it notes. 
Paul will accompany and assist me with the Chocolate Festival sculpture creation. His support and guidance are a godsend. We’ve squeezed a three week project into eight days – will need a bit of luck and more than a bit of strength.