My dad has been on hospice since October. He's had health problems for many years, a direct result of 40+ years as a smoker & a lifetime of alcoholism to boot. But once my mom died, his health went South in a hurry. Honestly, I am not entirely sure how (or why) he's held on this long, except that I think he's afraid of the alternative.
Yesterday, he aspirated on his lunchtime nutritional shake. By 4pm he was unresponsive. By 6pm, I was on the blower seemingly non-stop w/ my brother, the board & care facility administrator, with RN friends, and with the Hospice nurse, etc. By 7pm dad was on oxygen & a nebulizer treatment to open up his bronchial passages, and liquid morphine & Compazine to make him comfortable. My brother & I were at his bedside, holding his hands. He would squeeze our hands back fairly regularly. A reflex? An attempt at communication? I don't know. I'm just glad I was there b/c I never got to DO that with my mom, she was just gone in a heartbeat.
I left the facility at 10pm to go home to my daughter & her daddy who has been in town visiting since Tuesday night. I fell asleep next to his warm & familiar body, a body I've loved for almost 3 years (which is a whole other sad pathetic mess of a story) somewhere after midnight. Woke up at 3am drenched in sweat. From then on, I just dozed in & out of a fitful sleep. Gave up on the idea completely at 6:30 to upgrade my iPhone to 2.0 software, but that's not working. So, here I am. Blogging. Lucky you, my 2 or 3 readers! Happy Friday, aren't you glad you've tuned in? *snort*
No news yet from hospice folks about my dad, which leads me to believe he's made it through the night. I'll soon be faced with going back over to see him, as well to say goodbye to Dex's daddy for what feels like our third (and in some ways most painfully real) breakup. I'm not sure I can do this Mommy Thing without him, and yet really, I feel like I've never had him in the first place. Not really. And yeah we can point fingers back and forth all damn day about who's to "blame" for that, but what difference does it make? Love is a two-way street. One person cannot love enough for two. We both made mistakes. We both kept our walls up & didn't trust enough. And what I've learned too is that love & relationships take way more work than just about anything on the planet. Movies? They lie. You have to make the conscious choice to stay, to love, to be present, to communicate, to be willing, to do the deal together, to tell the Truth (no matter what)... Every. Single. Day.
I'm glad to know that I'm at least capable of doing that. I feel really bad though that I learned it too late to "save" this relationship, b/c this particular man pretty much means the world to me. I had no idea love could be this big. Almost as big as the love I feel for my daughter, and let me tell you folks, that love is f*cking HUGE.
I'm already grateful for this experience. If I'm lucky, someone may return the favor someday. Because ya know what? Turns out, I'm a total soft squishy girl & I want to be cherished & treasured & loved this much, I really do... But for today I'm just so done w/ all this damn grief. Enough already. I want my "Happy Ever After" -- even just a smidge would be nice. I'm just sayin'.
This is not a Poor Me post... I know that I'll be okay no matter what. I know I'll get through to the other side of what all this FEELS like right now. It's been a rough year, being a grown up is hard. Big deal. So what?
All that G-d requires of me is that I trust in the process, that I connect, that I strive to reach my Highest Good every single day. My life has a purpose, even if I don't always know what it is. Right now though, what I really I want is for someone to put their arms around me & tell me it's gonna be okay (and I want to BELIEVE them).