One windy afternoon, as the clouds were swirling above, you walked by; my eyes caught a glimpse of your red sweater just before they caught a glimpse of your soul. Looking ahead, carelessly checking your phone, I wasn’t a part of your reality. I, a stranger, just a blur on the street corner, no different than anyone else around us. To me, in that moment, time stood still; the way your cheeks scrunched up when you smiled at your phone, the way you brushed your hand through your golden hair, and how each step you made seemed so flawlessly planned out. I found myself longing to know you, all while you lived unknowing of my existence. Weeks later, drinking a coffee, I found myself thinking of you, wondering of your well-being, hoping that one day we would cross paths again. Until that fortunate day, I will quietly smile as I think of you, a beautiful stranger with an electric soul. Sadly, I am no where in your mind, let alone your heart. In your life, my love that I would so gladly share with you, doesn’t exist.
I’m at a crossroads between who I am and who I want to be; I see everything I want, and I also see everything that I’ve been molded to be. I like certain things from both of the roads; can I pick and choose? Can I take the best of both routes and make a new road? That is, if I’m even strong enough to abandon the road I know so well..the me that I’ve grown up knowing. My habits, fears, desires, obsessions, anxieties, dreams.. are those things concrete? At this point, am I able to change some of the strongest qualities about myself? I aspire to be happy, but maybe that isn’t a part of who I am. Sadness and exhaustion seem like a standard part of my personality. I’d like to have a loving, honest, and faithful marriage one day, but can I? Can I be faithful to someone for a lifetime? Can I love the same person endlessly? I want to be religious, but will a religion ever actually make sense to me? I want a career, but I struggle to finish school. I want to run away for a while, to someplace unknown to me, but I am chained; I am chained to where I’ve grown up. I need to love myself and be okay on my own, but I constantly cling to a romantic partner; if I don’t feel wanted, then I feel nothing except for incompleteness. I need my father, but he is gone; no matter how hard I cry, he isn’t coming back. I need to know that he can see me and hear me when I speak to him, but I can’t. I need to know I’ll see him again, but how can I know that? Faith isn’t enough when it comes to family. So, for now, I stand at this crossroads and take time to examine where I need to go.
It’s approaching midnight, and my eyes are heavy from crying. My dad has slept all day today, being woken every couple hours to see if he will eat or drink. He won’t eat, but he will drink some. He always wants to eat, so this is new; this is scary.
Today was the beginning of his hospice care; my mother and I sat down with his new nurse and learned about the program and how they are different from home health. Hospice is a lot more help, in all aspects; my father’s care now focuses on making sure he is comfortable, rather than trying to heal him (because he’s past that point). His medications were changed around, as most the ones he took no longer do him any good; pain medication and a mood stabilizer (for anxiety and agitation) were added. A nurse will be available for use 24/7 if needed, but otherwise, one will come by the house a couple times a week. A bath aide will also be here several times a week to help my mother and I. There are also social workers, volunteers, and chaplains available for us to use. Hospice provides physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual support for the patient and for the family.
As for my father, his new nurse said that we will be able to tell a lot within the next few days. If he wakes up tomorrow and is willing to eat and drink, then wonderful. If not, then we need to prepare ourselves for the worst. It could be just a bad couple of days, but then it could also be nearing the end. With this disease, it’s hard to tell; every day can be drastically different.
My father hasn’t been as responsive as usual today; out of the twenty times I’ve told him “I love you,” he may have responded twice. His eyes stayed closed even when taking a drink or feeling my hand on his face. He’s coughing and has a rattle in the back of his throat. His hands shake and he fiddles with the covers around him. His blood sugar has been low all day, whereas it’s usually high; tonight is the first night in years that we haven’t given him insulin.
I pray that he is peaceful and not in pain. I pray that he knows how much my mother and I love him. I am overwhelmed with emotions ranging from sad to angry; I’m not prepared to lose my father and I’m angry that I’m going through this. I’m angry that my mother is going through this. I’m angry that my father has to end his life in this condition. No one should have to go through this. Losing parts of a loved one day after day is a terrible sadness and requires a lot of strength.
I hope and pray that tomorrow will bring my sweet daddy a better day. I hope I can see his beautiful eyes and radiant smile and hear his contagious laugh. I always pray that he continues to know who me and my mother are.
I will update tomorrow on his condition. Thanks to everyone who has kept my family in your thoughts and prayers. If you are in need of prayers, please comment on this post and I will keep you in my thoughts.