Wednesday, July 13, 2016

sometimes it's hard or even harder

The past week or two have been buggers, haven't they?

It isn't enough enduring the never-ending nightmare that is the past year of politics.

Or the rise in violence and brutality and division in our country that is overwhelmingly painful.

Then there was the several-days long recurrence of Stu's liver issues.

And, you know, ants invading the pantry.

And, of course, the air conditioner breaking down.

While the politics will go on for months, and the chaos and divisiveness continues, at least we conquered the ants, Jack repaired the air conditioner, and Stu gradually recovered from his last stay in the hospital.

But then there's the part about my dad. 

It turns out his dementia has progressed.  A significant downturn. 

I knew from watching him the past few months that he was declining.  Sleeping more.  Eating less.  Interacting infrequently. 

Last week, the family all agreed it was time to bring him home and accept help from hospice for however long he lasts. 

The hospice nurse and aides are incredible.  They are kind, compassionate, even-tempered and so very capable.  They have allowed my mom to release herself from the incredible demands she has lived under for the past five years so she can try to just enjoy the remaining time she has with her husband. 

The hospice doctor says maybe a couple of weeks.  The goal is to keep him comfortable.  How many times have you heard that about hospice?  It sounds so very different to me now.

This is so hard.  You know that thing where you wake up in the morning and for just a brief flash everything is okay and then suddenly you remember life is not what it was just a few weeks ago?  And you really want to just put your head under the covers and stay there all day or for however long it takes for life to go back to normal?  But you know it won't because this is real life and you can't stay in bed all day every day.  So I get up and go to work and call my mom when I think it's late enough that she might be awake, but of course, she's been awake for hours already.  And at her house, it isn't normal either.  Just a slowly changing new normal.  And by lunchtime, I think I might be able to get through another day. 

But it would be so much better if I could just go sit with them.  Quietly sit and be present.  For however long we have.

1 comment:

Jessie said...

I'm so glad you got these photos, while he was awake and present. What a gift.