Friday, April 22, 2011

Quiet Reality Screams Terrible Unknowns (A/Z)

I'm cheating again, using 5 letters at once (Q,R,S,T,U) for the A to Z Challenge, but these little shortcuts are necessary for me right now. I've barely been online, let alone been able to blog - and my alternative is to fall behind with poor hope of catching up again ... and while I know this isn't exactly keeping up, I don't want to just abandon the challenge - because it's been fun :).

I don't speak about my personal life here much deeper than little anecdotes that reflect quaint little life lessons. But I feel like going deeper today.

My Dad is dying. He's all but lost his battle with cancer, which began in his colon and liver a few years back and then stealthily spread to his lungs and bones. He had many months of quality time left only last week. But then he suffered a fall and fractured his neck. This seems to have led to a dizzyingly rapid decline. He now lies in palliative care in a neck brace the rest of his life, which was quickly reduced to an estimated six months, then two months, and now only a few weeks. Only Monday he was quite himself, joking around with me, flirting with Mom and charming the nurses. He is now out of it with pain management medication way more than he is conscious. Still, I talk with him like he can hear me, hoping that he does despite the lack of outward cues. I hold his frail hand and tell him I love him each time I leave, hoping it rings through the fog for him. Hoping (selfishly, perhaps) it's not the last time I can do so.

Just as difficult to witness, my Mom is falling apart before my eyes. Always a pillar of strength and faith throughout our lives, she is crumbling in the face of reality - her valentine of 53 years, her husband for 51 of those, is failing. she is losing her partner, her right arm, her heart. She is devastated. I can be there for support, but I cannot stop her pain. She is not well either and I'm afraid she will lose her own will to live after Dad is gone. I don't know how to help her.

My Dad is being moved from the hospital to a nursing facility near their home later this afternoon. There he will receive hospice and round-the-clock care he will need to be as comfortable as possible for the remainder of his days.

Sunday is Easter. My Dad loves Easter eggs. This is the first time ever my Mom didn't make Easter eggs. She just didn't feel like it. I guess I don't blame her.

I don't know whether to wish for more time or for a quick release from his suffering now. Any alternative is almost too horrible to think about.

I love you, Dad.


Stacy said...

Awww, Clewy. You know I'm thinking and praying about you all the time, I hope.

This was so hard to read and brought back so many memories, good and bad, of going through this with my own dad. I know how difficult it is to watch. The last night of his life, my dad was in such incredible pain and the only option for relief that was left was a drug he'd reacted to badly at an earlier time and there was no way of knowing what would happen if he was given it again. We all agreed it was most important for him to be comfortable so the injection was given and the last thing he said before slipping into a coma was that he loved us. That was around 2:00 in the morning. I spent the time from then until he passed at 7:30 or so praying for an end.

I know it doesn't seem like it now, but one day you will be able to look back and treasure these times with your dad and family. They are so intense and things get said to each other that might not comeout otherwise. I guess that is the silver lining if there can be such a thing.

Love you, Clew.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

i am very sorry to read this honey. and i do know how your mom feels. my loving hubby of 43 years has his cancer spread to the bones now too. he is still doing good for now. as i can relate to her, i am more anxious to relate to you as i like to know how our children are feeling.

hugs, bee

anthony stemke said...

Oye, such a sad post, my heart goes out to you. My dad had an M.I. and four hours later was gone. I was 600 miles away, flew up immediately, but too late.

I guess the more-time would be for you and the less-time for him. God bless your entire family, I know it will be a sad Easter.

Coffeypot said...

I'm so sorry, Clew. If I may, being his age and being more aware of what could happen, I would want everyone, including the doctors, to give me a quick release. Wishing for more time would only be for my family. He will never be the dad you had, and he does not deserve to suffer. Now or tomorrow, it will hurt just as bad for you. And all that I have read says that hearing is the last to go, so talk to him. And just let mom suffer in her way. You be her support. These old folks are tougher than you know. Love ya!

Nicole said...

I'm sorry to learn that you are going through this tough time and experiencing sadness and difficulty witnessing your mom in pain from the fear of losing her sweetheart. I hope that you and your mom can both help each other cope through this hardship and I wish your dad much comfort and peace while he is going through difficulty as well.

May you all find the strength to be together and enjoy each moment that you have left with your dad right now. These moments will be forever cherished and it may lift your spirits a little more if you all enjoy this time right now, focusing on fond memories and good times in the present.

The Madlab Post

If you need someone to talk to or a moment of encouragement, your readers are here for you.

Sharon - coping with a loss said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. You are in my prayers. If it were not for your V post, you would certainly be in absolute despair.

Praying for you and your mother.
Sharon (An A to Z visitor)