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.

Friday, November 02, 2007

going home

after the events of this tumultuour week, we're headed to see my dad.

it's been a surreal week. it's gone from knowing he was getting weaker, but a little at a time, to full-on decline. it seems that every day this week he's gotten worse. it's like the cancer, or his body, decided it was time to kick in and be ruthless.

it was still unclear as to us going sooner, as opposed to next week. but i had a few calls thursday that made up my mind and i called dawn to come home to get us tickets. next week might be too late.

my sister called and she didn't know too much more thanthe night before. then mom called and she told me in so many words that i should get there sooner if possible. she said dad was there if i wanted to talk to him, but then the nurse got on the phone and she detailed what was going on with him.

he stopped eating. didn't want anymore food. and he can't drink water. it would come up through his nose. that could be a reason why he isn't urinating, since he isn't taking any liquids. he's so weak that when he walks down the hall, he runs into the walls because he can't keep his balance. they have to be ready with a chair because he might fall. (he'd complained that his backside hurt because all of the meat was gone and it was bony.)

the nurse pretty much said that if he's still alive next weekend, he'd be ambulatory. but she didn't really know if he'd make it that long. she said he really wanted to see me.she asked if i wanted to talk to him. i said yes.

i heard voices and them asking taht it was his son from michigan on the phone. then my mom came on the line. he didn't want to talk to me. i think he felt he couldn't talk to me. he wanted to see me in person. that pretty much did it for me.

after dawn got home we were able to get tickets. i called back and infomred my mom that it was done, for her to tell dad. she said she had already told him, but that he didn't know who she was anymore.

he's had episodes where he's so disoriented that he doesn't know who mom is. a few months ago before a trip to the hospital, she couldn't remember her name and called her something else. he had too much morphine then.

it's so alarming that he's declined so quickly so soon. i guess i'm taken off-guard. i was used to the slow pace the cancer was moving that this is scary.

it's not become a reality. my dad is going to die. and he's going to die very soon. i'd hate to think that he's holding on to see me. but that is probably it. i'm the last person who he loves that he really hasn't seen and needs to see before he dies. i would not want to prolong this illness of his anymore.

i don't know what condition i'll find him when we arrive. i don't know if he'll further slip away or if he'll be somewhat lucid. that fact thathe doesn't recognize my mom scares me a lot. will he recognize me when i arrive at his bedside or chair? i hope so. even if he doesn't, really, i hope he knows it's me, his son. i hope that deep down inside where there is still a part of him that is my dad, will know and will be happy.

and even if i see him for a minute and then he fades, it'll be ok. it'll be a minute i'd treasure forever. it could be something that passes like a millisecond or something that lasts an eternity. but it'll be a memory nonetheless.

just hold on a little longer, pops. we'll be there. and i will hold your hand as you once held mine when i was a child, in times when you comforted me. now let me comfort you, my dear sweet father. i love you.

oh, dad, why did cancer have to come into our lives? why couldn't it have tiptoed around you. and let you be to live the life of an old man, and death would take you after a lifetime of living.

7 Comments:

Blogger Brooke said...

Have a safe trip... my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

4:55 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roel,

My family and I have everyone in our thoughts and prayers.

Marla

7:16 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

my heart is with you and Dawn and all your family

1:11 AM

 
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