Tomorrow my little girl turns two. Next Tuesday we celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. Somewhere between today and next week my Dad will die and we will have to bury him. To piss me off I’m sure he will die on her birthday and we will bury him on our anniversary. His one last “fuck you” to me.
We are on a roller coaster right now. We have been on this roller coaster, with my Dad, for over 5 years now and the speed is quickly picking up. Alzheimer’s has slowly taken him over the years to the point that we grieved the loss of him a long time ago. His physical self has been here, on earth, tormenting us for years. You may find that a horrible statement, some do, but my Dad is 57 years old and Alzheimer’s has robbed him of everything. We were back home, with my Mom and Dad, last weekend when things really started going down hill. We moved him into a hospice house on Sunday evening and then our waiting game of “any moment now” started.
“Any moment now” is an exhausting place to be in. My mother likens it to the end of a pregnancy when you think you will never have that baby.
My mom has worked as a hospice nurse since we were little and now she is having her own turn, with her own spouse. Perhaps that is where we get our comfort level with death. I remember as a child mom throwing us in the car, showing up at someone’s house and we would sit in the kitchen, quietly coloring, while someone took their last breathes in the living room. You know, circle of life stuff. Then we would have to go home and finish up homework. Life just moved on.
Level-headed as can be, our family has been ready for this for 5 years while clearly those around us have not wanted to accept it. If you have ever been in a place like this with your family members, you get it. You get that there really is a better place. You get that they are gone already. You get that it is time to move on. You get that a mourning time has happened already. If you have never been in this place, then you judge us for not being emotional enough, for laughing when you think there shouldn’t be laughter. The fun part is, we give no fucks any longer about what people are saying behind our backs as the end nears.
So we continue to plan for a 2 years olds party this Saturday. We field phone calls, we take visitors, we finalize funeral plans, we go through old pictures, we debate if some of these moments call for a Rose or Merlot. We send funny memes to Mom, to read to Dad, because some of this shit he would laugh over, probably already is and Mom could use some humor right now.
The next week is going to be long. It will be full of a lot of things but I’m really looking forward to how much love it will be filled with. It will actually end with good memories, believe it or not. These moments are truly what you make of them and we are choosing to keep it positive. After all, I still find October to be one of the most magical months.