It's been a whirlwind of a week. September always seems to fly by. I suppose since the focus, for me, is at the end of the month when I turn a year wiser.
Typically, I celebrate my birthday in a large fashion. Other holidays pale in comparison to how much I enjoy this particular celebration. I think it is because I do exactly what I want. I can be selfish and justify it with, well, it is my birthday....
This year is a little different since a few unexpected things occurred. First off, Veronica (my beloved Volvo) broke down. The customary tune-up turned into a huge cost. A point where some of my friends told me I should consider purchasing a newer vehicle and putting her down to rest. I have faith in my car and I know she has spirit. Plus, I figure I don't have a car payment and if I continue to pay attention to the maintenance, diligently, she will continue to thrive. I paid the balance of the work--new radiator, alternator belts, tune-up and a few other adjustments and felt a pinch. Still, I felt okay with having the work done.
Then, Sunday, my dad called me. This seems to be our thing. He calls me on Sundays to see how my week went, and how my upcoming week will look. I listened to the voice message and could tell something was up. I returned his call and he told me that his wife, Dori, was in the hospital and had been, since the previous Monday.
He asked me if I had talked to Jade and I said, no, sometimes it's hard to get ahold of Jade. He said, well, can you text her?
At this point, I knew it was serious. Jade is an oncology nurse and my dad has been a little more forthcoming with Dori's situation since Jade understands the terminology and what to expect. Dori has been fighting liver cancer for the last year.
I text my niece since she responds to texts. Jade isn't a big phone person. Mackenzie immediately responded that she would tell Jade to call grandpa.
Jade called me and told me that we needed to book a flight immediately to Kansas. That it couldn't wait nor should we. From this point, I was on the phone with my dad, Jade or Michaela, while a friend of mine shopped flights and rental cars for me.
I am here for my dad and Dori. There is nowhere else that I want to be. Of course, I feel like dead weight when it comes to sitting in the hospital. It definitely is not my forte. I am finding that I am equipped to provide emotional support and sustenance. They have let me cook while we are at my dad's house and I take pleasure in that. That is my contribution, small, while we wait to find out how to make Dori as comfortable as possible.
Yes, things happen. Things out of our control--my car seems so small compared to what is currently happening to my dad and stepmom. I remember how I felt after Brian died and I would not wish that on anyone.
Sometimes people ask--which do you think is better....immediate death or lingering dying? In the past I have always felt that the immediate death was harder--that is what my experience was with. Honestly, I would have given anything, any amount of money, my soul, what have you to have one more day with Brian. One moment. A kiss. Hug. Being able to look at him and say, I love you one more time. I felt robbed the way it happened.
However, watching my dad, now, well, in no way is this easy. You have time but there is so much pain. Plus, there are decisions to be made--hospice, all of the social security things, insurance, etc...the list goes on and overwhelms all the while, the person you most love is dying. It is heartbreaking.
This year continues to challenge, surprise and remind me to be compassionate and supportive of my friends and family. I am thankful to be able to do it, too. So grateful to be here for my dad.
It is a different way to celebrate. I will definitely find carrot cake at some point in the near future....