Thursday, September 13, 2007

My Dad

My Dad's Birthday is on Tuesday, he'll be 85. He has Kidney disease, and has been on dialysis since the beginning of the year. I read back in my blog to last Christmas, and saw how we were all hopeful that the dialysis would give him a quality of life , at least to some extent. It has not. Instead, we've watched him decline slowly and in degrees. He's in a nursing home now, because my 79 year old mother can't take care of him. He has no control over his bladder, he can't walk, and his mind is starting to wander. This was the man who would not "let" me win when he taught me how to play cards, which made the victory that much sweeter when I finally won a game on my own. He helped me with math when I was a young girl because I had trouble back then. He would use flash cards with me and tell me that I could do it, he knew I could because I was smart. Now when I go visit him, I tell him dad you can do it, just one foot down on the ground and you can get into your wheelchair. He calls my daughter by my name at times because he gets confused. This strapping man is down to about 120 pounds, and each time I see him he seems a bit more faded, a bit more tired. There are days he can't talk above a whisper, because he has no energy even for that. A few weeks ago, his doctor sat him down and told him that the dialysis was not doing what they had hoped it would, and that he wasn't sure how much more it could do for him other than clean his blood to keep him alive. His Minister of the church he goes to has been talking to him about letting go, and he has listened. He recalls when his mother was ill and how she chose to die at home with family around her, she did not choose to linger in a half-life state. Some days he thinks he will make the decision to end the treatment soon, and some days he thinks that just one more day, and he will be able to do more and walk with only a cane. When he does make the decision to go peacefully into that long dark night, and he stops the dialysis, it will be a matter of about a week, and he'll be gone. I love my father. I carry the memories of a million little things that make him "dad" to me. I have pictures of him in healthier days with Princess, both with irrepressible grins on their faces. Princess knows that grandpa is dying, and she deals with this grief in little bits, as only a 6 year old can. I deal with it in huge chunks, because I truly know what this means. When he does make the decision, I'll be there, as he goes into Hospice care. I'll tell him how much I love him, and tell him that he will never ever be forgotten. I'll tell him it's okay to let go. But what I want to do is run up to him and leap into his arms and have my big strong dad again. I worry about my mom. I worry about a lot of things. But most of all I love my dad, and I can let go too if I have to. But never let go of how much I love him.

• Posted By Crazy Single Mom @ 11:36 PM
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    1. Name: Crazy Single Mom
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