Saturday, June 21, 2008

My Dad

If any of you have read the main page here, you know that my mom died last year. I'm still dealing with that. I know that I've not DEALT with it because I still talk about her in the present tense. How long does it take? Not a real question btw.

They probably have a Grieving for Dummies book, right? Of course they do.

To continue, in March my father fell down. Wait, maybe he tripped in the garage. Or, maybe, he had a stroke but lied about it and continued to lie about it for two weeks, during which he didn't tell any of us that he could no longer use his right hand or walk with any coordination or drive.

I spent Spring Break taking my dad to various doctor's appointments. We went to the GP, the hospital for an MRI, the cardiologist and the cardiologist again for two sonograms.

Turns out my dad's mostly fine. Did you know that if you don't get to the hospital within an hour of having a stroke that it will do all its damage, but if you get there sooner that medication can lessen the severity? Apparently the left side of the brain controls speech, so he got lucky there.

My dad's regaining fine motor control, if slowly. He can drive now, and started cooking again, which he loves but can't do as well without control of his right hand. He still can't write, so sometimes I help write checks and things. He's changed his diet and has lost more than 30 pounds.

The anniversary of my mother's death is coming up. My sisters are divided about how to spend the day, and my dad said to me today that all things considered, he'd just as soon his house smelled of my mother's cigarettes.

I totally understand the impulse to be alone, but maybe that's not a good idea. Maybe we should be together to support each other and not feel both sad and alone at the same time. I'm pretty sure that my mother would tell us to quit being stupid and spend time together, and to make sure and use her camera and take lots of photos of her grandchildren. And then she'd say to leave her alone and let her finish her book and her cigarette in peace.

The book she started but never finished? "Love Kills" by Edna Buchanan.

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