Chaos Attraction

Last Days

2007-01-18, 7:21 a.m.

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(this recaps Tuesday/Wednesday, written Friday morning)

Tuesday was actually pretty quiet, and "normal" for us. Nobody really got going on anything, so I got online for several hours before I got bugged to get off the computer. We didn't even arrive at Dad's until five. She was there for hours and hours, of course, but that's to be expected.

Hard to believe in two days it was going to end and we wouldn't be here any more.

Mom called to make reservations for Disneyland. Apparently the woman she talked to do it took her father off a ventilator was unpleasant.

And speaking of timing for hearing THAT, we found out that day that my great-aunt Babs's long-term boyfriend OJ had decided to take himself off a ventilator and die this week...and it took him two days to do so.

Mom decided at this point that she DID NOT want me to watch that.

Wednesday we went to breakfast with Laurie before going to the nursing home. It was good. She is going to go to the nursing home on Friday with Ron, but doesn't want to be in the room. So I can sit around with her wherever that isn't Dad's room, I guess.

The doctor did a ah, "practice run" of taking Dad off the ventilator for a short time on Tuesday. Now she thinks he can go a few hours. Hours?! She's not taking out as many tubes and sticking an IV in and whatnot now.

At noon we all had a meeting with a social worker, Suki. I gather it was supposed to be more of a "see how the family is doing" kind of thing. She was cool. Asked how we were doing physically, was shocked at how many people got sick or dead in the family in the last two years. I had to defend Mom's choice to not get in-home help for so long when Auntie D said that was the only thing Mom could have done better. She talked to Mom about guilt. I wanted to talk to her about guilt, but meetings can only go so long, after all.

We are getting a ton of clergy in there tomorrow. Mom's minister, the associate minister, the Stephen minister, Roy the grief counselor from hospice. And Auntie Dolores wanted someone to give him "the anointing of the sick" (otherwise known as "last rites"- apparently the Church figured out that terminology scared people), so Edgar the hospice priest will be over around 9:30 for that. Tons of people in the room. Except me. Suki said she'd be with me (and Laurie) if I wasn't going to be in the room.

Of course, we were there all day and half of the night, except for when Mom went to pick up Mauricio so he could say goodbye (he'll have to work on The Day). I gather he told Dad he'd take care of us.

I will probably give myself carpal tunnel from all the knitting I'm doing, but dammit, it's good to fiddle with something at all hours. It sure helped to knit through that last meeting instead of pulling on my scarf and staring at my hands for hours.

Again, hard to believe it ends tomorrow and I still won't have to drag ass here on Saturday.

I have come to the conclusion that I MUST go hug and kiss and look at Dad on the day. Not necessarily because Auntie Dolores says so, even though I think she will never forgive me if I don't. No matter what the hospice people have told her, it REALLY bugs her that I don't want to. But because my guilty conscience about not loving Dad because he got sick and grossed me out (let's face it: I am that shallow and selfish and that is what this really has boiled down to: me going "Ew, gross!" like I'm 12) is killing me. I'm not crying because I'm sad to see Dad go, I'm crying because I'm a damn asshole and I don't want to be, and I'm really tired of having fight-or-flight (or gag) going on in my body big time every time I'm in a medical situation any more.

I wish I could have done better. I will feel shitty for the rest of my life that I couldn't just suck it up and go in there and at least fake that I still saw him as a person. No, I wasn't up to it, but that doesn't make it okay to me that I abandoned him for being sick and weak. What kind of an asshole does that? Me, that's who. And really, that is not okay. It isn't. I can't lie to myself that it is, I can't believe anyone who's telling me otherwise in an attempt to make me feel better.

If I pull my usual- don't want to go in, hide until it's over- I will have ended it in just the way I began, by being a shit. I have. to. suck. it. up. Full bore. At least at the fucking end, I should be able to go in there and act like he's still human to me. Mom suggested that she and Teri escort me in there arm-in-arm, with my eyes closed, so I don't have to see it. But that's not right (and obviously PATHETIC, that I'm so lame I have to have THAT go on in order to see my father One Last Time). I have to fucking suck it up, alone, on my own, even for five minutes before I run for it.

I don't know if I will be able to pull it off or not today. Hell, Mom doesn't even know if SHE can stay in the room. I don't know what the hell I'll do if I'm not in the room. I can't go hide in the rec room because they put all the old people in there during the day, and there won't be a whole lot of spare rooms to hide in. Mom said she doesn't want me within earshot of the room. There's the meeting room we're always in, or the patio. Suki suggested we go to Starbucks. That just seems wrong, to be in fucking Starbucks waiting for a $4 froofy short beverage the moment Dad dies. I wonder when someone will come out and notify us. I wonder if I'll know on my own in that moment or not.

I don't know what we'll do after. I doubt eating is going to occur all day (we didn't even eat dinner last night until maybe 9). I should be eating right now, but I sure as fuck can't eat at seven a.m., especially if I'm going to be trying not to puke all day. (Which makes bringing leftovers from the last two days not exactly a great option either.) Aunt Susie has suggested we go to her house for the weekend, I like that idea.

Who knows. The next few days are For crying, I guess.

I don't WANT to go in and see him one last time. I don't have anything more to say to him other than continuing to apologize the way I always do (like that means anything- it doesn't, really). I'm tired of people telling me to write him a letter or make a tape (like I would be able to talk on such a thing without going into hysterics?). I sure as fuck don't want to watch anyway.

Teri (the Stephen minister Mom sees) will be picking us up at 8 a.m. It's 7:20 now. I'd better finish this up and get ready.

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