“mommy’s not going to get better,” he cries on the way to the doctor’s. “she keeps getting weaker. it’s all my fault. i shouldn’t have let her fall.” bless his heart. “it’s not your fault dad, it’s her parkinson’s, her disease, that made her fall. it could have happened while any one of us was with her.” this is just part of life. i can hear his broken heart.
more tests today as the doctor tells us “his heart isn’t working right and we need to find out what’s wrong.” the surgery he had is 13 years old, and the parts are old and you’re under a lot of stress, the doctor suggests. my dad’s head starts going everywhere with this. ‘surgery? pacemaker? new valves?….what am i going to do? i might die.’
i reassure him that none of those things were mentioned by the doctor. i’m sure you’ll have options dad and one of them might be to take it easy, spend time away from mom, ‘come stay with us. you’re under a lot of stress.’ to which he responds, ‘oh no, i can’t be away from her. she needs me. and besides, i want to sleep in my own bed.’ precious.
you have to meet my dad one day. he can be the most lovable man in the world, and the next minute be the most critical, irrational guy you’ll ever know. he says whatever’s on his mind. he’s a little kid in a grandpa suit. if he tells me that my hair’s turning white, it’s because it is. he’s very good at stating the obvious. he can’t take a break from caring for my mom, he loves his bed.
he feels the need to be with my mom all the time, and yet he can’t stand seeing her in this condition. he hates seeing that she can’t move, can’t talk, can’t write, that she’s trapped in a body that doesn’t work anymore, still he can’t stand to be away.
i see what happens when two lives become intertwined, codependent. the thought of living without the other is unbearable. he knows he needs to take care of himself. but it’s not for himself that he lives, he’s going to get himself fixed so he can be there for my mom.