Monday, September 2, 2013

Memorial Day

HEAD & HEART---I got back home after 11 pm Saturday night, after a week of helping w/ cooking, laundry-folding, medicating, & physically caring for Dad, & all that entails. Glad to be home, & to see my church family, but sad that Mom & Dad"hated to see me go", leaving me torn, to say the least. Flash forward 24 hours. Shortly after Karen, & fiance' Jay, had to leave the house, Dad had another episode, & went back to Centennial. He's on the cardiac unit, in room 818. Mom went w/ him in the ambulance, last night, & is still there. Memories of going through this w/ my mom's mom, MawMaw, are flooding back. I've been here, before. Just trying to prepare all our hearts & heads for what is ahead. Still, it's good & right to love someone so much that you don't want them to leave, but equally don't want them to live like this, anymore. That duality is a tough one, but I'm grateful to have become close enough to Daddy, that I hate to see him go. Trying to figure out how you do this. Watched Jason do this w/ his Dad's suicide, in 2000, which was a horrible shock, of course. Maybe I'm in a little state of shock, myself. Wasn't it yesterday that Daddy was coaching me in T-ball? Taking me fishing, eating bologney & hot sauce, afterward making his signature battered catch-of-the-day, homemade fries, & the world's best hush puppies? Yesterday, too, digging a grave for my childhood, dog, Smokey, while tears & sweat rolled down his face? Carrying my infant sister on his hip, across the Rock City swinging bridge? Taking me on cross-country treks, after he retired, & I was wed, delivering for Davis Cabinet, w/ me running the hydralic lift? Making steaks & navigating us to beaches, the Smokies, Disney, putt-putt, & more, while being his vacation trip alter-egos, "Studley", & "Panama Jack-[crap]"? Letting me carry in firewood, so I'd feel big? A million moments like these feel close enough to touch, & oh-so-far-away, at the same time. Is it possible to start missing someone, before they're even gone? I think it must be. That's what we're feeling each time we hug or kiss him, truly knowing it might be for the last time. It is harder, waiting to have the cash to fix our car, & having to make arrangements just to get there, to do my share, & not being able to quickly be there when Mom & Karen need me, but I will do what I have to do, whether that entails the bus, a taxi, or bumming a ride, because they need the help, desperately. Perhaps selfishly, I also just want to steal a few more minutes w/ Daddy, even when he's not at his best. I'm unsteady & unsure about how you do this looming next step. How do you say goodbye to a parent? On a smaller scale, how do we get the VA & insurance to provide the stepped-up care he needs, as his strength, mobility, & senses more frequently fail him? Is there any way to keep him at home, as he'd prefer? God help me, but this is a set of mysteries I can't quite clear in my cobwebbed brain, enough to solve. God help us all, because this is a damned hard road.

Dad's Favorite: DANNY BOY