Are You There Yoga? It’s Me, Salvador.
Alright, in my last entry of Are You There Yoga? It’s Me, Salvador it was 1991, and I was in NYC studying at Hunter College. I liked studying in the Big Apple, but it wasn’t my thing living in the city so nice they named it twice. I couldn’t stand the the weather, especially the winter. Now, I was born in San Jose, CA and went to school in San Francisco, and San Francisco isn’t a sunbelt like Los Angeles, but it doesn’t snow, and it’s not freezing. It can be chilly, wet, and cold, but I never froze my tuckus off like how I did and do during the New York winter. Me no likey. I digress. I did my thing in NYC, and returned to San Francisco in 1993.
It was meant to be that I came back at that time because three months after my return my dad passed of a heart attack. He was fifty seven. It was a shock. He woke up one Saturday morning in March, and died.
I remember the day before he died. He looked really tired. Not good. That morning he was mowing our front lawn. He really liked to do that, but it kinda annoyed me that morning because the lawn mower was an alarm clock that I didn’t set. Eventually the sound of the lawn mower stopped, but was replaced by a frantic, loud knock on our front door. I stumbled out of bed to answer, and it was a neighbor. Things happened so fast that I don’t remember exactly, but do I remember my neighbor telling me that he saw my dad pass out and hit the ground face first, and for me to call 911. I did. The operator asked if my dad had any conditions like diabetes. I told them he did, and they asked me what medication he took. I stumbled through his medicine drawer in the kitchen, and told them what he was taking. They told me an ambulance was on the way. I went out front to see what was happening, and what I saw was my dad dying. He was sitting up with blood all over his face. My older brother was standing behind my father so he could sit down and lean back on his shins. My father noticed me, but he didn’t look at me. He looked through me. I’ve never seen anything like that before. He was asking the gathered crowd where his sons were, and if we were ok. He looked confused. I had a feeling that he was going to die, but I was confused too. It became clear that he was having heart attacks. The ambulance came, checked him out, put him on a gurney, and put him in the ambulance. It was at that time that my mother and older sisters just happened to come home from a morning of shopping. This was way before everyone and their mother had a mobile phone. My mother was a mess. I just couldn’t believe what was going on. The ambulance took my father and mother to the hospital. My dad was still alive on the way, but when they got there, he was having more heart attacks. By now me and my whole family were in a waiting room. The doctors where with my dad, and we were with my mom. I couldn’t take it anymore. I had to step out. I left the building and walked around. It was a beautiful sunny day. In the 70s. Blue skies. When I came back to the waiting room there were doctors in the room, and my mother was sobbing uncontrollably. My brother was holding her, and asked where I went. I told him I went for a walk. He told me that dad died. I don’t even remember the feeling that I had when I heard that. I remember floating over to an empty chair, sitting down, and a social worker telling me that he had multiple heart attacks, and died of a heart attack.
March is always a weird month for me. But it’s at that time, with some encouragement of some awesome friends, that I started a consistent yoga practice to begin the healing process.
Yoga did change my life. Read how in my next post.
PS – Sorry for the the long, Debbie Downer post, but it’s what happened. All is good. I’m happy, and I love teaching yoga!
Photos by Anna Rose