When my mom and dad redid this family home (a home– or at least the land– that’s been in our family since 1850 or so), they made a jack and jill bathroom between two bedrooms–they didn’t sleep together. Really I never remember them sleeping together. Supposedly Dad snored. It’s a hideous arrangement, with pocket doors joining not only two bedrooms, but the living room. (There is a bathroom downstairs, too.) Someday, I’ll make a master suite and a half bath out of it.
I’m sitting in the bathroom watching Dad dream and hallucinate. I could sit right in the room but I’d have to hear the tv more and the proximity any closer to his flailing is more than I can bear right now. It’s been two straight days of this — maybe the steroid–maybe pneumonia — or Covid — who the fuck knows. Maybe it’s the end. N-Palliative will come in the morning and maybe change the antibiotic. We are trying to let the steroid go out of his system. Hospice is coming, too. Just because N-Palliative told me nobody would help me with an IV type system and it was going to be more than I could handle and I might as well resign myself to sending him off to some facility where I won’t be allowed in and likely won’t see him again. And strangers won’t give a shit about him as he breathes his last breath.
Of course, they have written him off lots of times and he becomes lucid again so we never know where we are in this thing. The Hospice people were much kinder. Said we MIGHT do an IV sometimes. If he does better, they will discharge him, come again later. They will come tomorrow or Wednesday.
I was talking to one of my followers on my blog. He wrote me a note telling me how hard it was when his mother died of cancer–and really a thankless job to do this in many ways. It was so nice of him to write a note. (And I have another couple followers who are thinking of me, too.) I told him I always thought the Wizard had it wrong. He told the Tin Man that a heart is not judged by how much YOU love but by how much you are loved by OTHERS. No. I always knew that was bullshit. I don’t think any time in these two years I’ve been here did Dad seem to appreciate me or show real love and concern for me in any way — of course, he hasn’t been himself in a long time. How could it be about that. Nothing matters at all except what YOU invest in it. So it IS about how much I love, ultimately, isn’t it? Isn’t it about how much I care, what passion I have? For him, for my work, for my teaching? Do you ever do that so you get all this adoration back? How could anything in life be about that? Is it really some kind of measure to be recognized by anyone??
No, it’s about what we invest. Right? Not that it isn’t painful to never know if it matters. And of course, it has to end, in my case, badly. Because no matter if he ever DID appreciate it which I’ll never ever know, he only remembers now that I’m keeping him in a bed when he thinks he should be ambulatory, that I yelled at him twice not to pull out his catheter (he repeated the whole nine yards again tonight). No matter if it HAD gone great, he’ll just remember the bad things at the end, I’m sure. No way it could end any other way.
So if I’m doing this for him to show ME love, or GRATITUDE, that will not happen.
It has to be enough that YOU love. That I love. That we love. That YOU care, that YOU invest. Nothing else matters.
I hate computers, and yet I’ll be awake all night watching him, and I’ll be all alone except for this computer and a few caring people reading me off in the ether. And a couple dropping me notes. Thanks for doing it, folks.