|Odin, the rescued snuggle bug|
It started last weekend when My Sailor's deployment was followed up by a call from my brother. He let me know that, if I wanted to have some meaningful, conscious time with our Dad, I'd better make immediate arrangements. He was slipping away quicker than anyone thought.
After crumbling to the floor and crying for what seemed like an eternity (though, in reality, was only a few minutes), after the mass texts to friends and loved ones, I knew I had to compose myself enough to pick up the phone and start making calls...
First, the Moral Officers for My Sailor's Boats.
Then, the airline. I already had a flight scheduled out for Thursday, but that would most likely be too late, so I needed to change my flight. (Ray, the customer service guy at Virgin America couldn't have me it easier. Hats off to you, Virgin. Thank you.)
And then, The Red Cross. Much like when they started, the Red Cross still helps military families in emergency situations. They are able to get messages through the lines where others can't. They were able to get a message through to My Sailor's command that Dad has days left, at best. We knew this could (and would) happen at some point. No one expected it to be this soon, or while he was out at sea, but we did take some precautions, all of which have turned out to be helpful right about now.
Scrambling to tackle dog sitting and anything else in the house that needed to be done before I left, I managed to get through the day and get down to California in under 24 hours from the time my brother called me.
Since then, I've been able to spend some time with my family, and it's been good. His skin, which a year ago was tanned from the California sunshine, now a nearly neon sallow. The whites of his eyes are going yellow as the liver failure takes control. His once booming laughter is now replaced with shallow snoring. His once sharp wit replaced with morphine induced confusion. (This morning he woke up convinced he owned a farm and Mom was getting mad at him for not dealing with the hogs. As far as I know, Dad has never lived in a farm. Maybe it was he was just craving bacon.)
There is no denying we're approaching the end-game rather rapidly.
As for me, I've been taking care of myself. My usual vices (sugars, pastry, etc) aren't tempting at all, but I'm eating healthy. I've been working out every day since I arrived. Yesterday, it was a C25K day. I'm not used to running in this heat (hey, 75 is 'hot' when you've been living in 40 degrees for 7 months), dry air or hills.
I've been working in sit ups and whip ups whenever I can. Yesterday's routine was 50 sit ups (25x2) and 16 whip ups (3 sets of 5 and 1 extra for good measure), some stretching, and a walk along sunset cliffs with an old friend. The day before, it was just sit ups and whip ups during the commercials during an episode for NCIS. (about the same amount as yesterday).
Working out has been my sanity and my way of blowing off steam right now, as we get through this.
I have to give credit where credit is due - my brother has been amazing through all of this. He's been very helpful to my mom. I'm really seeing the best side of him right now and it's awesome. It's more than being 'good in a crisis' (a vein that runs through our entire family), but on an emotional level too. He seems to know just what to say, and it rings of truth.
Ladies, he's still single. Don't wait too long. You'll miss out on this gem.
While this whole situation sucks, it's been proof to me that the legacy left by a family is love. Genetics are just the scientific part of life.
I am my father's daughter.