Death

So much death coming up in the relatively near future. “Near” being, you know, anywhere from tomorrow to several years from now, but relatively speaking.

Aaron’s dad really isn’t doing very well. He has pulmonary fibrosis. We’ve known about it since last year sometime, but he’s refused to go on oxygen until this year. As a result, it’s worse than it should be. There is no cure, but there are things that make it a little more bearable…like the oxygen. He’s always been a outdoors person, going camping every weekend, and it’s been difficult for him to accept that he can’t anymore. He can’t mow his lawn, or go to the store very well, or do much of anything…and that is killing him too. At any rate, all of Aaron’s family came into town this weekend, surprising most of us. His little sister Amanda and her husband Rick moved to Tennessee a few days after The Boy was born last year, and moved in with his big sister Lisa and her girls. Lisa, Manda, and Rick all arrived on my door Thursday afternoon (yes, while I was struck with the wonderful rotavirus) with no warning. Aaron’s nephew (Chuckles, I’ve mentioned him a few times about 5 years ago or so) was stateside for a funeral for his grandmother’s funeral, so we called them and they came down late Friday night. Today we drove out to the inlaws house with Lisa, Manda, Rick, Chuckles and Giggles, and their 3 kids. The inlaws didn’t know that Chuckles and Giggles were in town, so THAT was surprise for them. I’m glad we all got together, because I seriously don’t know how long his dad has. He’s losing the will to live, talking all doom and gloom. I can’t say as I blame him – I wouldn’t want to prolong it either. He’s miserable.

Giggles’ mom was diagnosed a year or two back with ovarian cancer…the same thing that killed my mom. We sat and had a “big girl” talk (that’s what she told her daughters we were doing) about her mom, my mom, how her mom is doing, the kinds of things she can expect, etc. I told her if she needs me, I’ve been right there and I’m right here. I…cancer is a tricky bitch. Her mom is doing better than mine was (she’s alive!) and yet worse (losing kidney function). Mine never lost her kidney function…just her life. I know, I sound simultaneously harsh and detached and flippant…but flippant is how I deal. It’s all I have. Don’t believe me? Just ask my doctors. They’ve had to learn how to read through the flippant. 🙂 Anyways, I’ve decided that when her mom dies, we should go there for the funeral. I know she’ll need the understanding of one who has been there, who has felt that rage..and the strange lack of overwhelming grief, if that happens to her like it did to me. She’ll need someone to take care of her, someone who is NOT Chuckles. And taking care of people? That’s what I do. I do best when I have someone to take care of, or some thing to plan and run. I take charge and just go with it, expecting everyone to follow. It sometimes works. 🙂

I realized when Lisa and crew showed up that this might very well be the last time we are all together before my FIL dies. That’s why we called Chuckles and Giggles, because it was time. It needed to be done. I think Aaron really realized that on the way home, which made me feel better because it wasn’t just me being morbid. When we left their house, Manda was saying goodbye and she was just all in tears, which got Lisa going, which got my MIL going. Manda just clung to my FIL for all she was worth, sobbing like her heart was breaking, and it probably was. She’s a daddy’s girl, and always has been. When she was finally able to pull away, she clung to her mother and my heart just broke for her. I remember this pain like it was yesterday. I remember sobbing in Aaron’s arms every time there was a new symptom that showed up, some new development. I remember, and I will never forget. I didn’t cry for Manda then, but I am now, just writing this. I informed Aaron on the way home that it was okay to cry at his dad’s funeral – I know he doesn’t like showing emotion in front of people, even me, but I think it will be okay. And if he’s okay, I’ll end up taking care of Amanda. I’m not sure Rick can handle her on his own – he may need a break. Maybe he and I will work in shifts – me w/Aaron, him w/Manda, then trade. Rick and I get along really well – I think I miss him most of all. We’re the “outlaws” – the two not bonded by blood to the family, it’s us against them if it ever comes down to it, we say. I’m exhausted, and rambling, so thank you for reading. I’m going to go hide now.

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1 Comment

  1. I get the flippant. I classified my mom’s stroke as ‘good news’ at the counselor this week, because at least it meant she wasn’t all messed up from the cryoglobulinemia.

    That’s a lot going on. I’m here for you.

    Reply

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