I met my friend through a Mommy group when we first moved to this area. Later when we moved down to the 'burg I got the opportunity to grow even closer to this friend. We found that not only did we have the same name, but that we shared so many things. Including the fact that our father's were in a fight for their lives.
We were able to talk with each other about how this affected us. How we were feeling about what little time we had left with them. How hard it was living so far away from them and the not knowing of exactly how long we still had them here for. It was comforting and sad to know that someone else knew exactly how you were feeling. I hope to be able to continue to offer her comfort and support as she goes through this difficult time.
I've often wondered which would be better, to know that someone was dying so that you could tell them everything you always needed and wanted to, or for them to die suddenly. On the one hand you can mend bridges, say your "sorry's" and your "I love you's". On the other you don't have to watch them wither away and lose their dignity as well as their bowels. You don't have to panic every time the phone rings at a later than usual time fearing that its bad news.
I miss that man my father once was. I hate that he is not able to do all the things he always wanted to do with a son with my son. I was so proud when I found out I was having a little boy because I knew how excited he would be to finally have that son to do boy things with. I hate that my father is paralyzed and can only lay in a hospital bed in a nursing home day in and day out just waiting to die. Its hard to think back on the early days when he was always doing things. And now to see him just wasting away in that bed. My grandmother made the comment, "At least he's alive." during a conversation I was having with her. And I am glad that he is alive, but I certainly cannot call what he is doing "living". I wish that he could be healed and whole and function like the old days.
But my father will not be healed. He will not be whole again. At least not here. So I visit as often as I can. I sit there in strained silence trying to think of things to talk about with him. I make sure to bring my son to visit with him and to try to explain things to him so that he will not be scared of all the machines and the elderly people suffering from dementia screaming out. I call my dad about every other day just to say "hello" and "I love you". But other than that there's nothing I can do. But pray and wait.
I know that when his time comes my heart will break and a little piece of me will die with him. But my life will not end and I will have to pick myself up and carry on. After all, I got all of my stubbornness and strength from my dad so it would be a great injustice if I just gave up.