Sunday, December 18, 2011

Death and a Secret

I didn't manage to post last week because I was in Richfield helping my sister take care of my dad. He went downhill pretty fast after falling down. Basically he aged like 20 more years than the smoking had already aged him (making him about 98) and he couldn't do much on his own--even though he sure thought he could.

He was in a lot of pain, so my sister tried to make sure he was comfortable and had plenty of pain killers. He didn't make it easy because after only a few hours of sleeping he would jump up out of bed and run to the bathroom. And when I say run, I mean he would hobble as fast as he could making everyone nervous that he would hit the ground face first. My sister didn't get any sleep, and when she finally fell asleep I couldn't bare to wake her when I needed to leave for a little breakfast thing with my mom. Dad was asleep, Sister was asleep. I was only gone about 30 minutes. I came back and Dad was on the floor with his oxygen tubes tangled everywhere. It looked like he had tripped over the walker that we left next to his bed in case he tried to get up before we noticed. That didn't turn out so well.

Taking care of an ornery old bastard is hard to do. He'd get mad anytime we tried to help him because it hurt. We'd try to lift him off the floor and back in bed and he'd yell "Get the hell away from me" or "Leave me the fuck alone." We knew it hurt, but we also knew that it would be more comfortable for him to lie in bed than on the hard floor. So, we picked him up (not an easy task because he's a fairly big guy). He punched me in the leg. Good thing he didn't have the strength he did before the cancer because he could've done a lot of damage. I admit, I didn't have the patience for it and it pissed me off. Not only did he bring it on himself by smoking for all his life, he had to go and make it even harder for us by being a bastard all the way to the finish line.

The hardest part though, was watching him suffer so much and being ready to let him go. I've known for almost two full years that he's had cancer and that he would die soon. Seeing him right before the end was almost unbearable. But, I couldn't let my sister feel completely alone, even though I wasn't able to be there the whole time. I left on Monday night to get back to work and do a few other things and I was planning to go back to Richfield again to help for the following weekend. He didn't make it that long. He died at 4:30 am on Thursday. The yuckiest part was all the varying emotions my family had. Some were angry. Some level headed and ready to start the responsibilities of funeral planning. Some hurt. Some unsure. I'm sure that we all felt a wide spectrum of emotions in only a short time, and that made it even harder to understand my own emotions. But, overall, it was time. I'm glad he finally let go. He sure put up a fight, but it was time.

To show you a piece of my dad, here's the picture we used for the obituary. I'm glad my sister agreed to let me use it, because it really is my dad.

Now, hopefully so you'll spare me the "I'm so sorry" comments about my father's death (really it's okay, it was time and I will process it on my own just fine without your condolences) I'm letting you in on a little secret.

That's not true. I'm just giving you a sneak peak at my little secret.
All I'm going to say is, there's this girl.
Come back next time for the full story :)

~live your own truth~



  2. Ooo me too!!! I LOVE a good secret set loose. :)