Sunday, June 24, 2012

Courses & Obstacles

My family visited this weekend - Mom, Dad, Brother, his girlfriend, Little One and Smallest One made the trip and settled in on Friday night, and departing again mere hours ago. 

It is one of those wrenching moments when I acknowledge this may be Dad's last time here in this house that he helped unpack and advised on decorating and sweated through landscaping. 

I recall losing my beloved grandmother in high school and reaching to touch her at the visitation.  I recoiled when I realized how very cold she was, knowing nothing but warmth where she was concerned.

Dad's hands and feet - whether from inactivity or water retention or something else - are cold to touch.  So I found myself sitting next to him and dedicating myself to rubbing warmth back in his fingers.  His abdomen is distended and he isn't feeling particularly well.  He wanders the house at night, seeking a comfortable position in this world and it's so overwhelmingly sad.  The grief, even now, eclipses what I've known before and I struggle with and against it, even in tormented dreams.

The Ones are stunningly spoiled, making any and all demands and allowing little time to meet them.  But whether it's going to buy toys or visiting a playground or going to the fair, they are a beautiful distraction - smart and charming and delightfully cuddly at times.  Little One shared my room on this visit and her presence comforted me - I'd wake and look around, sometimes touch her hand gently where it rested by her cheek, leaving me to try to relax into sleep again.

We rode a train and bought food at farms.  We rode the merry-go-round at the fair and played 18 holes of mini golf.  We went shopping and ate out and giggled over television and internet. 

Little One is at the point where she's interested in family lore, constantly requesting stories and listening avidly.  I remember that stage - begging for slideshows that made everyone groan but treasuring the laughter that echoed through the house as we relived memories, sharing them with those of us who weren't yet born during the live event.

Brother worked, quite frankly, like a dog while here.  His decision to come was a bit late but I was quite happy to have him.  Even if he hadn't mowed and weeded my lawn.  Rid my yard of 8 wasp nests.  Fixed my front door which blew open in a violent wind.  Moved furniture a few times.  Attempted to correct my constantly-running toilet (which I finally turned off and will call a plumber tomorrow).  The boy is nearly 30 - which makes me shake my head - but is a good guy, despite the near-constant drinking.  I wish I knew how to help him battle those mental demons, but I'm proud and fond nonetheless. 

And we talked about American Ninja Warrior.  Brother made videos at the playground of him jumping over a step ("Everyone can do that," Little One offered in response.) and moving across the monkey bars.  We giggled and huddled a bit closer together in a too-hot house that made only Dad comfortable. 

I snuggled with Mom as we cooked and cleaned and talked.  She's helping me make sense of this professional could-be-opportunity so I feel more prepared for whatever news arrives this week.  We clung before they climbed in the car to depart, unsure of the future and what challenges it brings, but blessed there on the driveway to have had this time.

I'll close with a hopeful 'and many more...'

1 comment:

Bridgett said...

You are at a very difficult place. The place between clinging to what may be the last times for some things, but trying not to let the anticipatory grief overshadow that very time. Take care during these times

Post a Comment