I know people are wondering how dad is doing. He is in the hospital so that a team of health professionals can closely observe his response to medication. He did NOT have a stroke or an injury or any other dramatic physical event this time. He was a danger to himself and others, and that is what precipitated his admission.
Is he doing better? That is hard to judge. It takes time. A medication must be tried for some time before his response is clear. When coordinating more than one or two medications, the adjustment is more complicated. Last night when I visited him, he was agitated, but he was easy to distract. When Susan Christ, a nurse who has been working with him, asked my opinion of how he was doing, I wasn't able to answer simply. I think of a graphic equalizer. "Well," I might say, "the impulse to confront others is lower, but the repetitive utterance is higher. The obsessive look is lower, but the hallucination appears higher," and so forth. The ultimate measure in my mind is dad's level of contentment.
One thing is clear. Dad is not at peace. He is fighting through some great big conflict. The professionals see it as a symptom of his disease. I feel it is a continuation of the creative process; the struggle with internal demons that is resolved through creation. This time the creation will not be visible nor audible to others, but when dad finishes this, he will find peace within himself. His repeated utterance is "Tommy....Tommy....No! No! No, Tommy......."
"Dad," I said, "When I am troubled, I need someone superior to turn to. That is why I have chosen to turn to God. Is that alright with you dad?"
"Yeeeass...." he says in a defensive almost squeal.
"...and dad, when I want something to look forward to, I choose to believe in Heaven. I believe you are going to go to Heaven, dad."
"Not now dad! I know you're not ready yet, but when you're ready...."
"Dad, Jesus told us that when we want to talk to God, all we have to do is say the Lord's Prayer, and He will know what we need."
So then I say the Lord's Prayer. Then I grasp Dad's shoulder and I say to him, "I talked with Tommy, dad, and he loves you very very much."
"I don't know, dad, but I know he loves you very very much."
As I say this, I can feel dad relax. Then I say, "I talked to Cece, too."
He looks at me.
"Peace," I say to him.
"Peace," he says back to me, closing his eyes and relaxing.
"Do you want me to give a message to Tommy for you, dad?"
"Yes.." he says, "say 'Hey man.'"
I wish I could leave on this note, but as I am walking out the door, the repetitive muttering starts up again. I can only hope that the door is open a crack, and a beam of light is shining into dad's state of mind.
back to the top
Tommy's section of the site, the following pages
are also related to Jesse and Tommy:
Blurred Time "The Sleeper": the aftermath of Jesse and Bobbie's car accident
Mike Craver's "Visiting Tommy"
Roots of the Red Clay Ramblers:
Fuzzy Mountain String Band: Jesse's mom, Bobbie, recorded with Rambler Bill Hicks and others
Hollow Rock String Band: Tommy and Bobbie Thompson named this band for their community
Site maintained by
November 5, 2000