My dad has been very sick lately, and I haven’t actually come to terms with it. I mean, I am not in denial. Not in the real sense of the word. I am aware of what is happening, and the possible outcomes. I am aware of several dire possible outcomes. I am at the hospital three to four days a week. But it just hasn’t sunk in yet. Then today it got worse. I can’t even bring myself to write it out as I am still absorbing it myself.
I haven’t actually dealt with it openly until now. He has been in the ICU for over two weeks, but I have kept it for the most part to myself. Outside of people who needed to know, only a handful of people closest to me were privy to that information. Part of me was hoping for a quick recovery, and then nothing would even have to be mentioned. But as we are entering the third week, it seems less and less likely.
At first I was shocked when I found out my dad went to the ER due to kidney failure. Then I found out he has been having it for some time and he just neglected doing anything about it. Now the consequences have multiplied and kidney failure has turned into a cascade of other ailments.
So far every day or two something else has come up, and it is never good. Today is no exception. There are times I feel so emotionally drained, I feel like I have been gutted. I will sit for hours feeling empty. There is nothing I can do. I can just watch and be there. Except I feel that even doing that is not enough. In between everything going on I feel as though I am not really anywhere. I should be spending more time with my dad. I should be spending more time with my kids. But if I don’t take a few hours each week to myself I am going to lose my mind. I should be doing more around the house. I should be doing more. But there aren’t enough hours in the day. And I am so very tired.
After visiting him today I sat in my car at the hospital and cried. I sobbed like a little girl, scared and confused. But then I stopped. He didn’t raise me to give up. And he didn’t raise me to feel hopeless. Until the end there is always hope. I can’t solve his problems. I can’t cure him. I can’t even make him well enough to come home. But I can make him feel better. I can make him happy, even if only for moments at a time.
I went online tonight and ordered numerous books he might enjoy to better pass the time in between seeing doctors and having procedures done. I can’t bring the kids to the ICU, but I can bring many pictures. I can’t be there every day, but I can make the most of it when I am there. I can show him the strong daughter he raised. I can make him proud. I can make his last days meaningful. There is in fact nothing I can do, but I can still do everything I can.