Thursday, June 11, 2015

Letter to Dad, II

Dear Dad,

I wrote to you at the end of last month--May 26 to be exact--and here we are, only 15 days later, and I find myself writing to you again. I'm amazed by how swiftly two weeks have gone by and how quickly you have come around. You've gone from lying in bed with weak legs and a droopy eye to walking around--some days with assistance, and others, not--and watching the grand kids play. As I've told you so many times, I knew you'd recover, but you wouldn't have done so, without your daughters. When we rushed in, you received 24/7 care unlike what you'd find anywhere. With every medication dosage, every bite of food, every time we steadied your elbow, and yes--every time we prayed for poop--we brought love with us. All three of us essentially put our lives on hold to come to your aid, because we knew Mom could not handle you alone. And while you might have some ways to go, I'm confident that physically, you will find good health again.

But I'm worried about you anyway. You see the changes in Mom. You know she can't understand everything that is going on around her, and the stress of seeing you physically sick has caused irreparable harm to her. She's not the same. She's not the strong-willed, feisty, stubborn, woman you married. She's more willing to hear me, instead of fight with me, and she's open to my suggestions, at least until she forgets them. She would never let me tell her what to do before, and therefore, I think you need to think about her when you think about what to do next. Because as I've said before, the writing is on the wall. The both of you need to start the next chapter in your life.

Yes, Dad, I know these past few days and weeks have been arduous. I see the tears in your eyes, the frustration on your face, the way you try to hold onto the past with a tight grip. And since I'm not in your shoes, it is easy for me to say this: you must look at life and this next chapter as an adventure. So far, you've weathered the ups and downs of the last 79 years with great grace, and I have no doubt you have the fortitude to do the same with the next decade or more that you might have. The time won't be easy, but with the right attitude, you can find the moments of laughter amongst the pain, and the moments of great joy buried deep within the sadness. Focus on the positive, keep your chin up, and remember that your daughters--the independent and too liberal fruit of your loins--are backing you every step of the way. We're here for you, we're here for Mom. And if we're not with you physically, we're only a phone call away.

I love you.

Love,
C.



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