These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Monday, June 25, 2007

the trip 4

PARENTS



it was good to see my folks again. it's been hard with my dad sick with cancer and my mom tired from the caregiving.



i was prepared to see my dad, even though i'd been told he's lost weight and he used a cane to get around outside the house.



still, it was shocking to see him as we walked into the yard sunday afternoon. he became a little emotional and we hugged. i could feel he bones at his shoulders and back and i closed my eyes.



during the week, it was up and down for him. he spent a lot of time quietly sitting at a rocker or lying down in his bedroom. the side effects from the chemo wreak havoc on him from his digestive system and his memory to ulcers in his mouth and lack of appetite. it was hard to see him sruggle throughout the week.

but he had a good day thursday and i went with him to turn on his old truck to run the motor; he doesn't use it often. then we went and looked over the cows for a bit before returning to the house. there was a glimmer of my old man there, wearing his cap and blue work shirt.

we tried to make it easy for my mom. we asked her to not cook for us much. she ended up cooking some food on the friday before we left and mostly breakfasts. i didn't want her to have to worry about two more mouths to feed. she's tired, having to go with my dad to appointments, drive, and care for him in every aspect. she's become like a nurse to him. she's very dedicted and i'm proud of her. not just anyone would do what she's doing.

we're supposed to return next spring. i hope it's next spring and not before. i'd rather wait until then.

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