Forgive me I go off on more than a few tangents, rabbit holes and off the wall shit for the next few days, but I have a lot to process and while it is just a normal part of life, it doesn’t make what I am thinking about any easier. My writing will be my meager attempts to sort things out in my own head, so please bear with my disjointed thinking and writing process for a while.
I plan to keep running, because it does ground me and helps me deal with what is going on and more than likely what is going to happen sooner than later.
Death and dying are a part of the human existence and always will be, human beings are given a certain amount of time on this little blue marble, we all die when that time is up and nobody really knows what is on the other side of death.
No, I am fine and hopefully have many years left on this little marble we call Earth.
I visited my father today and he is not doing well.
Writing this on here sucks since it makes me stop, face the fact and reality that more than likely – in the near future my father will no longer be here.
He looked bad today, his lips are purple and he is on oxygen, he had difficulty walking from the house to the truck, didn’t eat like he usually does and I thought I was taking him to the hospital versus going home when he stopped three times leaving the restaurant.
However, he seemed to rally once he got in the truck and we talked – a lot on the way back to his house.
I have gone to some of his doctor appointments, seen him in the hospital too many times and know how bad his medical issues actually are. We usually talk pretty openly, bluntly, honestly about his health issues and death and dying over the past few years.
That being said Dad went to the doctor’s office last week and while he wouldn’t really tell me what they told him, other than he said that his lungs “are shutting down” and if you add that onto his reduced heart function…well Dad said the prognosis ain’t good and whatever will happen sooner than later.
Dad has died and been brought back to life 3-4 times over the past 15 years, so he isn’t scared of the dying part, he is more worried about how we (his children and grandchildren) will react to his death. As he said today, he has lived a full life and it is now just a matter of when and how soon – not if.
As he said to me this afternoon. “It is what it is.”
While I have known this day has been getting closer intellectually for a while, however, it still is something that smacks you upside the head as you get to where he is saying he is probably dying soon and there is nothing that can be done about it.
Other than to wait for it to happen.
Please don’t get me wrong, I will miss him more than anyone will ever know, but at the same time, I know that he is starting to suffer and his present conditions are starting to impact his quality of life more and more.
My father is a very prideful man and does not want to be a burden on anyone, so this is doubly hurtful to him. He is still very lucid and from what I could tell not a threat to himself, it is just that his body is failing him.
While I hold out hope for some kind of a miracle, I am pretty sure that the time for miracles is over and that it is time to accept that…
Yes, my father is dying.
There I said it.
How am I dealing with all this?
Better than I thought I would, but I am still having a bunch of different emotions and feel a bit lost about things. I want to fix this and yet, I know that there ain’t a damn thing I can do one way or the other, other than to be there if he needs me. I have a feeling that I will be riding an emotional rollercoaster for a while or at least until I get that phone call that I really don’t want to get.
I know that I will go back up there fairly soon, to watch a ball game with him and spend a bit of time reminiscing about the past. I might even take my laptop up and go through a bunch of photos that I have scanned from the old family photo albums and have him connect names to the pictures again. I think he would enjoy that, I know I would.
I just have to do it sooner than later.
Death and dying are a part of who we are as a species. However, we don’t deal well with it when it is someone close to us, even if it is their time to go. I know that I will have a hard time when my father does die, but at the same time he is starting to suffer more than he wants to deal with and it is impacting his quality of life to the point where he is ready to cross over to the other side, whatever that may be.
Yeah, it ain’t easy.
So when I got home, I moped around the house for a while and after we did the afternoon dog walk, Mary told me to go for a run and that I would probably feel better if I did.
Today was supposed to be a 3-mile tempo run with a mile warm-up/cool-down. Instead, I started out easy and figured that I would just run easy to burn off a bit of anxiety.
One problem – I wore the Nike Zoom Fly and by the time I got to the top of the hill, I decided to pick up the pace a bit going down the hill. Those shoes are ones that I just want to run fast in, so I allowed myself to go with it. When I got to 2.0 miles I faded a little but was still moving faster than usual.
The hill crushed me tonight, but I was just about to the top and I heard tires braking hard, behind me. I stopped to see what happened. A truck had just gone down the hill and evidently, a Spectrum cable guy had almost walked out in front of the truck. The truck braked hard enough that it stalled out and then the guy restarted and moved the truck down to the next driveway and stopped there. I got moving again and he was still sitting there when I topped the hill. Not a good thing.
I did pick up the pace again after that, but it did make me think about how lucky my father has been to reach 79 when many do not get that opportunity.
Mary was right, the run did help me clear my mind.
One promise that Dad did make me give him is that I would never let myself go again physically. He said one of his biggest regrets was how he allowed himself to get so far out of shape as he got older. It is a promise that I will keep for as long as I physically can.
You will notice there are no photos of him from today and I will not take any more photos of him. I prefer to remember him as he was in my mind, not how he is now. Maybe this is a naive thing on my part, but seeing him this way is not the way that I wish to remember my father.
We both have a bit of macabre sense of humor and when he started feeling better after the restaurant. I told him he couldn’t die in my truck – I like my truck too much and if he died in it and haunted me, I would have to get rid of it. We both laughed and we had some pretty good conversations after that.
In spite of everything, it was a good visit with my father. I do share more than a few of his personality traits and his name, after all, I am a Junior.
Yeah, just getting stuff out of my head…so bear with me as I flounder through this part of life.