2/27/10 - To Be Expected

We’re still in CO. My dad has slept about 34 of the last 48 hours. I think it is getting to the point where it just takes so much energy for him to be awake and ambulatory. I know, rationally, that this is to be expected. And I know that this is another step downhill. Dad, mom and Aunt T all tell me that he seems to be doing a bit better today. But every time I talk to him, he’s still gasping for breath. Rationally, I know that this too is to be expected. He has lung cancer, having trouble breathing is definitely to be expected. It’s just pretty brutal to hear.

I was talking to my Aunt T the other day about all of my dad’s sisters coming to visit around Easter and I told her that she should prepare them because how he is now is going to be hard for them to reconcile against the big brother they’ve always known. I know it’s going to be hard for even me to reconcile because it’s been a month since I’ve seen him. He’s always been the robust, outdoorsy kind of guy. He does yard chores because he likes to be outside and working with his hands. He loves to see the effect his effort has on his environment. And he has a profound love and respect for nature. All of these things have always been evident in his physicality. But now, that is dwindling. A little at a time. With his strength, his vitality is also shrinking. So far, that may be the hardest thing for me to see. Watching his sheer physical presence dwindle.

I think, perhaps, that even if he does manage to rally after this jaunt downhill, that the kids and I will head down there soon. I find myself thinking about the time just flying by and then it sinks in that this will by my dad’s last February on earth. And the thought that I’m missing that, that my children are missing that, makes me unbearably sad.

I know I can’t bring my dad the peace he needs, but perhaps I can find some of my own.

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