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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Seasons of Life

A brand new baby has come to live in our neighborhood. She joined us down here at the end of Daingerfield Landing Road only a few weeks ago, bringing us all the hope of tomorrow. Being the daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter of the wonderful people lined up behind her, she's promise of a good, solid, strong future. 

At the other end of the lifeline are my parents who are aging quickly. Daddy, who started out with the stronger constitution, has taken several sudden downward turns this year. Thursday he was taken to the hospital with a raging infection and I visited him yesterday. God - he looks like a wraith - he looks so tiny too. He's plugged and stuck and ported. They put a port in his throat to administer meds and he pulled it out, so he's also restrained. He is mostly asleep but he knew both me and my sister and was happy to see us. We were in hazmat suits because he's in ICU and of course I have a sinus infection now too. ick. So I wore a mask for a while but he couldn't understand me so I figured - what the heck - and took it off.  I didn't kiss him but I sure wanted to. 

Nobody's been able to get a diagnosis from the doctor yet - but it sounds like kidney failure. Still, the nurses all say 'he's stabilizing" - and his blood pressure and heart rate were really good. So there is the high probability that he will get well enough to go back to rehab - where he has used up his medicare allotment for this quarter. His insurance will cover some more time there and then it's out of pocket, which, thank god, is deep enough to pay for whatever he needs.

But it's time to do the hard stuff. I'm researching funeral details so that when the inevitable happens - and I am thinking it will be in a few months - if not weeks or days - we won't have to scramble. They already have a plot, a vault and a stone that's half carved. My job is the funeral home stuff and to select a place for a reception where our loud, rowdy, boisterous but goodhearted family can gather for a wake. And to gather the scattered email addresses. 

Selfishly I am hoping that he'll make it through July. After that, my on-demand work load is done with. We'll have closed out the books for 2010-11, had the board meeting for July, and finished the summer reading club. I can leave the library then in good hands, with few decisions clamoring for attention. 

And yes. I am sad.  And wishing I could be sitting there stroking his hand.(Yeah, right, with this sore throat? I don't think so) And also slightly impatient for this to be over. And absolutely NOT wanting my daddy to die. And wishing it was 1964 again but that I had all the foreknowledge I've gained living till now. (Oh the stupid things I'd have avoided if I'd only had that!)   

All I can say is - the end is near but it's not here yet. Or maybe it is. Each phone call could be The Phone Call.
Or not. 


  1. Bess, what a lovely post - heartwarming and sad, and filled with love. Enjoy whatever time you have left. We girls love our daddies! I sure miss mine.

  2. You will be in my thoughts in the coming days and weeks. Strength and love to you.

  3. Oh, Bess, you sure have been having some hard times lately. The long, drawn-out process of the ending of a life can be as hard on the loved ones as it is on the one involved. Please know that I am thinking of you as you walk through this difficult time.

  4. Thinking of you and yours these days, Dear Heart, with love and prayers.