Honestly? I don’t really know how to write this post. I am spending a few days here in North Carolina helping my Dad with a few things. My step-mom passed in early November and was sick for many months before that so a few things kind were left unattended. Understandable. There is a lot to catch up on from those items left undone not to mention staying on top of the current responsibilities. It would be lot for any able-bodied person to handle.
Dad is 78. His hearing isn’t the best anymore and he doesn’t sleep regularly. He easily gets overwhelmed with all the crap he has to deal with, especially after a very rough 2014. He’s tired and he “shuts down” when he feels overwhelmed and that just compounds problems. His physical deterioration is to be expected at his age but it is still hard to watch, acknowledge and admit. Couple that with his emotional loss and you have a one-two punch that’s tougher than being hit by Joe Frazier.
Aside from the physical demands and the life demands he has to deal with the emotional issues of losing his wife on over 25 years. Frankly, he seems to be struggling with survivor’s guilt. He has repeatedly said that it wasn’t supposed to happen this way; he was supposed to go first. I think he also struggles with not being told just how serious Kathleen’s illness was; he was somewhat unprepared and he’s mad at the doctors and (I surmise) at Kathleen for not telling him. He’s probably not really sure how to handle that emotion, perhaps feeling a bit guilty too. Who knows? Maybe he was told but was in denial.
So why is this so hard to write? It’s only gonna get worse. Despite the fact that Dad is pretty healthy for his age he is getting older. He is more forgetful and arthritis is setting in. So what does that mean for me? It means tough decisions in the very near future that will have to be made and I anticipate having to overcome my own denial. It means tough discussions with Dad about curtailing driving and activities while broaching his living situation. These are not fun times ahead. It also is also a precursor to what probably lies ahead for me in the not -too-distant future.
But I have to be thankful that I am here for him. Whenever that time comes for those hard decisions I will be there. For him.