So, I’ve been a bit preoccupied lately, which is to say, emotionally drained, which is to say, there is bad stuff afoot.
I feel like I haven’t been back to the blogosphere long enough to have (even more) depressing news, but this is my space, and I need it. I’m sharing only if you want to hear. If not, click away and I won’t be offended. I won’t blame you at all – it’s early in the morning. Who wants bad news before coffee?
My dad is sick. We found out only recently, and it’s bad. We will find out just how bad later today, but we pretty much already know the deal.
My dad is sick, it’s bad, and he lives far away from me.
My dad is sick, it’s bad, he lives far away from me, and out of 4 children, I’m the one that will most likely have to deal with the horrible practicalities of this horrible reality.
My older sister lives on the other side of the country, and is on her way back home after spending a month even further away with her my niece. She could be a tremendous help, although I might have to keep things organized. She is a wonderful caregiver and a supportive sister and it would be good if we could be there together, but they don’t even know what’s going on yet, and she will probably have no money to fly to Florida once back.
My little brother is 23. He doesn’t drive and he has no money, and like most big sisters, I feel the need to protect him. And though we’re close, the combination of the two of us is the most likely to be tense. I will be too bossy, and he will be too defensive and together we could possibly make a rough time rougher.
My little sister is a 21-year old student. She doesn’t drive and she has no money. And like most big sisters, I feel the need to protect her. If we were to go together, she would be an excellent caregiver, a wonderfully supportive sister, but I will have to deal with all of the other responsibilities and my yearning to protect her would weigh heavily.
So, while I will have the help and support of my dad’s brother and sister who live near him, and have thus far been his (and our) amazing allies, I will probably be going to Florida alone, the only burden I’m scared to shoulder on my own, the emotional one. I am good at dealing with beurocratic trivialities, I know I can extract the answers and the next steps from the myriad of doctors and experts and administrators that I will have to. All of these things I can handle, and in times of crisis, usually dive into – kind of a welcome distraction. My only hope is that alone, I can give my dad what he needs, both physically and emotionally. My aunt and uncle will of course still be close at hand, but I think they will tag out somewhat once I’m there, or worse, bulldoze me into making decisions that I won’t be convinced are best for my dad.
I will probably leave for Florida on Saturday, and stay a week. And I feel guilty for having waited until even now to go there, and I feel guilty that every day I’m not there I get to live under a thin bad-news shield, and I wish I didn’t have to step out from under it. For so many reasons.
Does this all seem shallow? Does this seem selfish in the face of the real issue, which is that my dad is very sick? I just – I just am not ready to comprehend the magnitude of that reality and what it means to my future – my dad’s future – yet. I feel like, as long as there is ‘work to be done’ and ‘plans to be made,’ the focus, the reason for this work and this planning, can stay in the shadows. At least for a tiny bit longer.