Thursday, March 4, 2010

My Dad Died 2

When my Dad was in the hospital, I wrote the following journal entry.

Jan 15, 2010

Dad was flown in to the city the day before yesterday. His heart is failing. His feet are swollen and are the size of footballs, his upper body is wasting away, he's got scabs on his arms and chest and an oozing wound on his leg.

He is stable, for now, in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

I come into the ICU and from across the nurses' station I can see into his room. He is asleep. I won't wake him. I pull a chair up to his bedside and take out this journal. It's not a new journal. In fact, the first entry was October 2006. Back then, it was mostly a weight loss journal. I guess it still is.

My father is dying. Maybe not today or this week, hopefully not even this year. But as surely as I know anything, I know this. My father is dying. He smoked and drank and ate like crap his whole life. And now, though he does none of these things, he's paying the price.

My mother is dying. Maybe not today or this week, hopefully not even this year. But as surely as I know anything, I know this. My mother is dying. She smokes and drinks and eats like crap. She has no intention of stopping even though she is being sent for heart surgery that she will likely not survive.

I don't drink and I don't smoke (anymore) but I do have a very serious weight problem. I've fought battle after battle in this war and I feel like I'm losing ground. It's serious enough that it will kill me. And I will leave my children, like my parents are leaving me. I can't even be angry with my parents, even though it's their own doing. After all, I know what it's like.


At this point, Dad woke up and I put the journal away.

Dad died three days later.

Death seems so far away, so abstract, until it touches it you. And when it does, the reality of it is crushing.

I have more to say, but I don't have the words right now.