Its been quite a while, hasn’t it?
For New Years, Jon and I drove to the west coast of Florida to see the sun set, then to the east coast for the sunrise. It was cloudy, so it was really more watching the sky get brighter, but it was cool, and windy, and the waves were crashing. It was beautiful. However, as I sat there, I felt a real sense of dread. I almost wanted to cry at the idea of having to face another year. I just had a bad feeling.
Things were up and down most of the year. Then in the beginning of July, my dad got sick and had to go to the hospital. We found out he had prostate cancer that had spread to the bones. The doctor rattled off numbers of values in the blood that I only understand were really high. He made a few more trips to the hospital for weakness, falls, and breathing difficulty. Finally, at the end of October, he came home from his last hospital stay with hospice care.
I didn’t know what to expect. They say people admitted to hospice generally are expected to live six months or less. He was weak when he got home, and I was so scared we weren’t going to be able to take care of him. He settled in and did a bit better, but then came the landslide. He had frequent falls, it didn’t seem like the medication we were giving him weren’t helping. On November 12th, his nurse decided that he should go to the hospice inpatient center so they could get his meds straightened out and get him stabilized. It took a few days but they finally got him settled, and he stopped waking up in the middle of the night agitated. We thought about bringing him home, but didn’t because he was so well taken care of and comfortable. We didn’t want to cause him stress.
On November 20th I got a call that they could not find a blood pressure, and his breathing had slowed. Due to kind of a freak thing, Jon was there when I got off the phone with the nurse, He took me down to the hospice center, and Zach followed shortly. We said our goodbyes to him. He was an intensely personal man, and it was my belief he would rather pass alone than with us hanging around him. He made it through the night, Zach visited him on the afternoon of the 21st. That evening, I got a call that he had passed quietly.
My dad and I weren’t terribly close. He felt weird having a daughter. He was an alcoholic. After his first fight with throat cancer and the laryngectomy, he could no longer speak, so he would just write to us when he needed something. The more time passed, especially after my mom died, the more withdrawn he became. Frankly, there were times that it was really difficult to be around him. He was angry and depressed, and you could just sense it. I know he was probably in a lot of pain from the cancer, and this past year that may have colored his attitude a bit, but he never asked for help. He was ready to go, so we helped him along as best we could, trying to make it a comfortable trip.
I miss him terribly now. The call from the nurse felt like the floor dropped out from under me. It felt, no, it feels so unfair to have lost both of my parents before I even turn 40. I know a lot of people have it worse, but right now I’m a little wrapped up in my situation. This has driven a couple of people away, it seems. People that were really there for me when I was anxious and unsure. I miss them. They know who they are.
I’m so blessed to have Zach. He’s been very strong for me. I just don’t know what to do, or how to feel. I’m so mixed up. I don’t want to face the holidays. I’m scared as hell about dealing with his and my mothers estates. I don’t feel like I have much to look forward to, and its making me a bit of a bitch I guess. A whiney, weepy one.