I tried to sleep a little just now. After getting IV fluids, I felt exhausted and better. Peaceful. In the in-between place, my brain flitted to the future, just a little forward, to where I won’t have a daddy anymore. To where my mom won’t have a husband. After a few thought progressions, I was completely unnerved. So I’m awake.
I didn’t know what to say, so I’ve said nothing. Dad went on hospice last week.
As much as I want an end to the pain for him. As much as I guiltily want an end to the nightmare for myself, and my mom, and our family. The idea of him leaving is actually frightening to some part of me.
I can’t make him stay here. I couldn’t make him leave before.
I have no control.
I am tired and sad. I think I’m still trying to make everything be right. 10 years of progressively more insistent wrong. And I’m still in this place.
Part of me is elated. We’ll be able to breath again. (I’ll go into the guilt later, not now.) And then there’s that little space somewhere in the back of my mind that is intently waiting for the other shoe to drop.
Lots of shoes drop, are dropping.
His journey is far from complete, really. Our family is in deep and expected crisis. He needs all the love and protection we can muster. But the end is actually coming.
He has had an incredibly painful rare neurological disease for over ten years now, a terminal lung disease, parkinsons, other various unpleasant conditions, and Lewy Body Dementia. He just turned 60.
My dad worked so hard last week, to stay with us, to pull himself away from the dementia over and over. So we could all know his true wishes. So we could all support him. (God’s grace. Miracles.)
I said this in an email last week, “On the one hand it’s so sad what this disease has reduced him to. On the other, having walked through so many fires, here at the end, he is proved true and good and loving. All things that are so familiar.”
Two weeks ago, before any hint of all of this, I said other things. Things I won’t say here, at least not now. I said I could never come back from where this has taken me. I lamented. I can’t come back.
I believe there will be still waters, and beauty, and light, and joy.
But it won’t be what it would have been. What it should have been.
I know I’m not alone. I know there are others, some of them holding my hand, who have walked through. Gotten to the other side.
None of us can go back to who we were before.