The past 6 months have been the most emotionally trying of my life, more so than the stress of learning to be a good mom, or the emotional breakdown of going through an awful divorce. Facing mortality is I think the hardest things we have to do in this world, it’s not our own mortality I am talking about although it applies, but rather the mortality of our parents.
They are baby boomers and yes they are retired and growing old, but when health complications arise, staring at you eye to eye, it’s crushing. There have been God days and extremely bad days and unfortunately with every couple of great days come along, the one bad day kind of stands on your shoulders and transports you back to being a child, their child, daddy’s little girl and a very scared one to boot. When you see a parents tear, and words they seem so terribly morbid come out of their mouths because they are so very sick, what in the hell do you do? Well, I can tell you without hesitation, you sit right down on a cold floor holding your fathers hand and pretty much cry like a 6 year old confused as to what is even going on here, at least that’s what I did. No shame in saying it either
We are all going to have to do this, so I think it’s best to speak honest and open about it, although I won’t speak about the particulars of my fathers illness because frankly, it’s not the illness I am talking about, rather the day you realize what any serious illness does, it quite possibly can end a life. It’s awful, scary as all hell and just about cruel to anyone who has experienced it.
My dad and I, actually my whole family have a beautiful relationship with each other. People meet us, they are shocked at how much my family not only loves each other but the fact that we actually really like each other. I’ve had friends & x boyfriends say “it’s weird, kinda abnormal how much you guys LIKE each other.” It’s not weird to us at all, isn’t everyone like this? No, sadly, I know many who don’t even like their parents all to well and feel obliged to love them just because it’s their parents, I actually can’t process that! That is weird to me.
I didn’t say we didn’t argue or disagree on things, we sure do! We are very German and very Irish (not the cute leprechauns of Dublin more like the IRA folks of Belfast) these two pieces of our family heritage make a great mix for bad tempers. Most days, we control it! Most days…
Our Sunday dinners were great avenues for heated debates, plain ole Jane differences of opinion, and yes we do get mad at each other. However, it’s short lived. My parents instilled an extremely high value for FAMILY. No matter what, family always and will forever come first. Now, we don’t make all newcomers drink the look-aid here and say “our family comes first”. Hell no, my Momma and Dad believed our family is first within our family but would not ever discount anyone else’s love for their own
family, this has also been instilled. Our so ounces or boyfriend/girlfriends family must be respected as well, Jack said so, and we did it and still do. I think I’m the only 40 something who still listens (most days anyway) to my parents. I must add, up until we have been distanced 1000 miles from our home compound, we had Sunday dinner together as a family most every week from my college days until now. That’s just how it is here, I’m told we are odd. Well, yes we are odd who isn’t? however, Sunday dinners are not the reason we are weird or odd, we got plenty of odd without even counting
So as my Daddio came home finally after 2 months in the hospital, I stayed with my parents a few days, not to hover but to just help if I could. Troy and my children were fine with this, I do think they knew I would do this, but just waited for me to decide.
My Daddio is where all his children’s sarcasm comes from, we all know it too, including my mom. We actually jokes about how loopey they kept him for a bit there giving his body a chance to work on him. As we all marveled at how quickly he responded to all he’s been through, it’s a long road to recovery getting his body strong.
This whole weekend I thought very seriously about my children, they barely know their father now after his choices he has made. I thought of Troy and how he lives out of state from his own parents and his only biological child there is no relationship only anger and rage. All of the answers to all this morality that is bound to happen at some point, I find alarming and hard to wrap my head around. I know my children have had family instilled in the them, even if their father didn’t. I know the same goes for Troy and his aging parents because I see what he does for my own. I know my children will be there for us all, even if they are in selfish teenager mode, they know what comes first.
I guess I hope that one day my children and Troy’s child come to terms with something here so that they would have no regrets, and the same for my xhusband and Troy. Leaving things unsaid or completely disjointed serves no one really, certainly not a positive way to filter through life. I don’t know, maybe I’m off base but I believe it is the healthy thing for our minds to attempt resolution of some sort
I love my momma & Daddio to pieces, they are the best people & parents in this big ole world! Here’s to you getting better each day Dad,you deserve it!