They really are. Don’t believe me? Check this. And I know first hand. I was leaving work last Thursday when I noticed a bird sitting in the middle of the street. I thought “Something is wrong with that bird.” Then I noticed it was a baby pigeon, not fully fledged, with fuzz sticking out all over. A car came by and I thought it was going to end up pigeon mush, but it got up and made its way over to the curb. I’d been sitting at the intersection caught between wanting to save it and knowing that the world does not need more pigeons. I just couldn’t leave to starve or get squished. I pulled over to the curb, picked up and took it home.
It’s currently living in a cat carrier sitting on top of the washing machine. After finally doing what I tell everyone else to do, look it up on the internet, I found out how to feed it with the most minimal amount of trauma to us both.
I’ve taken it on, so it’s my responsibility. My major concern is that I’m going to end up with a pet pigeon.
Going through this process, or whatever part of the process it is that I am going through now, has been interesting. Thank the fates I have the family that I have. Getting through this would have been damn near impossible.
I don’t know how Mom did what she did. Twice a day, every day, to the hospital. I didn’t go anything like that often and it was exhausting. I almost feel human today. It’s still hard and emotionally draining, but nothing like the roller coaster of ‘he’s good this morning, he’s bad this afternoon or he’s having a rational conversation or he’s moaning in pain.’ Like I said, I don’t know how Mom did it.
Been texting with youngest sister about a couple of funeral details and talking about that. I’m old enough to see my parents as people, at least somewhat. I still admire them. I’ve known them for more than fifty years. Not from a neutral viewpoint, to be sure, but for a damn long time. The more I see of them and know of their lives, so different from my own, the more I admire them.
It has been nice texting my sisters, talking to Mom every day. Knowing that my family is going through the same thing I am. Everyone from their own viewpoint, comparing thoughts and experiences. I’ve read that that is how bonds between people are made, shared experiences.
It’s weird to go through this. The fabric of this family has been torn mightily, but going through it together as a family is knitting the fabric anew. The fabric will never be the same. It’s going to be a whole different shape. But it’s still there.
Still my family.
Still my Mom, Still my husband and both of my sisters.
Still, my family. *sigh* Still a Dad-sized hole my world.
My immediate surroundings have been touched, though not directly changed. The sun still falls through the windows the same way, the garden still smells fresh and green, but that picture, on our bookshelf, that man is no longer here. My husband, my home, my pets, they are still here. Our garden is still my sanctuary. I still have this. Maybe I have been selfish. Hell, I know I have been selfish. But my husband and my home let me do what I do. None of which I find easy.
I see, every time I leave her, that my Mom is alone now. And as much as I want to be there all the time, I can’t. I need my evenings in the yard. Sanctuary! Sanctuary!
Things have changed. My Dad is no longer here. It’s a damn big Frank-sized hole. Mom feels that empty space so much more than we do. Do I tell that I feel that space too? Their home is so much different now.
Someplace for so many years was Mom and Dad.
Dad died tonight around 5 pm.
In some ways it’s a relief. He’d been suffering for what seems like ages. He asked us several times, “What did I do to deserve this?” ‘Nothing’ was our answer. There is no way on earth that he deserved what he got. He talked to me several times about what he needed to do to escape the hospital. I knew the only way he was going to get out, but couldn’t tell him. But life isn’t fair and things happen the way they happen. Would that people got what they deserved. That would please me.
Mom was there with him, holding his hand to the very end. I don’t think he knew it, but she sure did. It’s often chance that puts you in the right place at the right time. I thank chance that she was there. Maybe he did know that he was not alone. I so hope so. But whether or not he knew, I know, my sisters know, and Mom knows. He was never alone.
Now we have to find a way to honor his life. It won’t be easy. I know that I don’t have the words to say what he has meant to me all my life. And how much I’m going to miss him.
Sometimes an accident can turn out not to be a mistake.
So Dad took this fall and had to have emergency surgery. He lived through the first few days and had a couple of visitors. Friends to my Mom and Dad.
And I have all of these email addresses, of people on my parent’s contact list. And I wrote a thank you email to the friends that visited Dad before he woke up and started to be himself. Only it wasn’t them. It was a couple of other people. My Dad’s cousin and her husband. And they came to visit. And Dad was appreciative. And Mom was appreciative. I think it might be time for me to thank them for themselves.