If this were any other year, I'd be concerned about where we were going to go for brunch, but today, a bowl of all bran and a banana were more than enough. The lack of ham or my traditional swordfish and smoked albacore wasn't even a wrinkle on my mind.
We spent most of last night watching The Ten Commandments before the Home Health Aide came to help out with Dad. Dad had a good day yesterday. He was talkative, coherent, and eating, though he didn't feel up to getting out of bed much. He gets this really peaceful look on his face when the 3 of us (Mom, Bro, and I) are sitting around talking, even if he's sleeping. It's kinda like a little smile, so we sat in the bedroom and watched TV and chatted together as if it were as normal a thing to do as ever.
By contrast, last night was a really bad night. Bad enough that I had steeled myself in preparation to make the phone calls to my brother and the hospice people. I found a strange, steady calm. I've always been good in a crisis and, like I've said before, I don't really have any regrets about my relationship with my dad. That doesn't mean I'd ever WANT to see him go, but as hard as this is for us kids, the people it's hardest on are Mom and Dad. Helping out helps me cope, and, honestly, Dad appeared so blank, it was as if he was already gone. But eventually some morphine got his breathing regulated once again, though it remains shallow.
Once the crisis passed, as if on cue, I got word from My Sailor, asking me to write out all of my feelings - as up until now I'd been passing on only clinical facts about what's going on and sharing my feelings with family in person and a few of my friends long distance.
I spent an hour last night pretty much solidly crying as I wrote it all out. It was helpful (not that I haven't been shedding tears before - that's a daily activity around here of late) and generally therapeutic.
I just can't wait for him to get home and give me a great big hug.
I didn't want to make this a cancer blog or a hospice blog, right now, the biggest part of my life experience is my father dying. To diminish it, refuse to mention it, or to make it a foot note feels disrespectful to the single most instrumental male in my life, and the experience as a whole.
Why write this out in the internet world? I believe that someday someone like me might be going through something similiar, feeling all alone, searching for answers on the internet. Sadly, I have no answers to offer other to assure future-reader that you're not alone. Another family has been through it. Someday, it might just help someone else out, even though my blog is actually is pretty well filtered (believe it or not).
Today, Dad wasn't really awake more than to answer "yes" or "no". He's very peaceful. For someone ravaged by this much cancer, it's a huge gift for him not to be in any pain, but my heart still pounds instinctively wondering if 'this is it' every time I hear a noise coming from the room he's in - even when it's just the cat or the oxygen machine.
Tonight I'm still steeled up to make the calls, should they become necessary.
So as a nod to the good times, I'm throwing in a few photos from a family gathering last November - sort of an early family Thanksgiving.
|Me and my Parents at our local hometown brewery, Stone, while waiting for our table.|
|Bro and Dad chatting it up.|
|Dad and UncleM, his brother enjoying the beer garden|
|Me and my Cousin. (Who would have thought we're not genetically related?! Crazy how that works sometimes!)|
I hope all my readers out there had a blessed, beautiful, and peaceful Easter.