Saturday, January 04, 2014

My Absence

Yes, I’ve been absent.  Very absent.

But I think I have a good reason.  In late July, my dad’s cancer took a turn.  For anyone who has been part of a cancer survivor’s journey, the journey takes many, many turns.  In July, the turn was big.  He entered the hospital on the last Monday in July and he never went home to his apartment again.

It’s been a long journey with many turns.  Getting him into various skilled care facilities.  Dealing with family members (my father is remarried – don’t ask).  Shutting down his apartment.  Walking him through the disposition and allocation of his belongs.  Thankfully he is a man of few possessions, but those he has are precious.  Dealing with grandchildren.  Dealing with money (that would be me).  Dealing with medical institutions.  Trying to make honorable decisions.

He died yesterday in the wee hours of the morning, in hospice in my sister's living room.  My sister lives in a converted 3 flat with a coach house in the back.  Her oldest son is married and lives in the coach house.  That child has a bond with Grandpa that surpasses all of us.  My sister’s younger son is living pretty much in the lower flat, while my sister is in the upstairs flat.  The main kitchen, the living room, etc are on the main floor and that is where Dad was.

I am grateful that we celebrated Christmas on 12/22.  Dad was still awake and alert and cracking jokes ever so slowly.  By Christmas night, he was throwing up dead blood.  Now he is gone.

I cannot stress enough the good work of hospice.  They have made this last leg of the journey palatable, to use my sister’s wording.  We went with a firm that my cousin, who is a doctor, works for.  At the time they were brought in, it was August and Dad was very much aware of what was being discussed.  Our cousin guided him through the discussions and he felt very comfortable that someone was advocating for him (besides his children – he trusts us).  While we didn't call the firm until the 100 days of skilled nursing care was over, they have been nothing but wonderful.

So this is why I have been away.  Some things fell away and this was one of them.  I have decided that in 2014, I will better at this, and some other things too.

Meanwhile I have been quilting.  Not as much, but I have been.  And a situation at work has resolved itself.  It was a tough 2+ years being away from my department and manager, and it is so very nice to be back.