One month down

It’s been a month today.

Dad asked me today if I thought mom had her angel wings yet. I told him I thought she got them as soon as she walked through Heaven’s gates.

We are going ok.

I know she is so much better off, she is whole again, she is well, she is perfect.

But there are some days the need to just hold her hand is so strong. Some days I can almost hear her call my name, and others I would give all I own to actually hear it aloud.

For the most part, my siblings are settling down.

One brother has been fantastic. He and his wife have been so supportive and there for us no matter what. They came and stayed 24 hrs at a time to be with mom before she passed. They stayed up all night talking with dad, keeping him occupied, and just sitting with me and mom chatting, singing, and helping to soothe her.

The others, well… one brother came several times the last week mom was alive. He got to talk to her, laugh with her and sing with her.

Two brothers and one sister did not come at all.

One sister came, unfortunately she was a day late to be able to talk and communicate with mom before she lost lucidity. She wasn’t able to have her moment. It’s killing her now.  She asked one of mom’s life long friends to “be my mommy” now that mom is gone. She even asked permission to call the other woman mama. Then she calls dad and tells him what she did.

I don’t understand.

I guess guilt and regrets can do that to you.

She will never be able to make up the lost time with mom. She isn’t doing such a good job spending time with dad either. She hasn’t been to visit since mom passed, and while she calls a couple of times a week, she mainly complains to him about how she misses mom and cause him so much distress. He is always highly agitated after speaking to her on the phone. It upsets him immensely to talk to her.

Dad spends his time lost inside his mind now, he is living in the 1940’s in a time before he married mom. Its his safe place. It doesn’t hurt there. He doesn’t feel the pain or the loneliness of being a widower. In his mind it is a time of war between the countries, but its not a war between his heart and mind. His mind won out on this one to protect his heart.

I don’t blame him.

Just one more

Ever since mom passed away, dad has been stuck in WW2. Every morning he gets up, looks out the windows to check for enemy troops. Every meal he asks if the soldiers have been fed before he will eat a bite. He talks about trying to decide if he is going to re-up or not.

One day this week, he had a dr appt, and youngest told him he heard through the grapevine they were calling a truce and the fighting would be over by the time we got home and that all the soldiers would be cleaned up and cleared out. I thought he was kind of grasping at straws at telling dad that, but it worked!

Just like that, he was out of WW2. He was back on American soil, but still in his early 20s.

The problem with that is, since 4am, we have been having to chase him and keep him from walking off. He has decided that he is going home, he’s tired of “visiting” us and is going to walk over the ridge to his home. Earlier today he made it outside, with one of the boys following him to make sure he was safe, and he refused to come inside. So I put him in the car and told him I would drive him home, but only if he could give me directions.

Of course he wasn’t able to, after all, our starting point was home.

We rode around, went to McDonald’s and got some sweet tea then headed home.

That worked for about 30 minutes then he was ready to leave again.

This has went on all day.

Tonight, dad got out of his recliner, put on his shoe, and coat and was headed to the door again. I tried reasoning with him, which is a futile exercise, and got no where. Stud came in the room and told dad he couldn’t go outside because it wasn’t safe. Dad asked why? Stud’s reply?

The fighting has started back.

Just like that, we are back in WW2.

We decided we could deal with the talk of war and fighting much better than we could risk him getting past one of us and walking off. We have a bed alarm and a chair alarm, but what if it malfunctioned and we didn’t hear him?

For our own peace of mind, it is better to let him think there is war going on outside than for him to think it is safe for him to head to where ever he thinks his home is.

I think that I am going to take him on a little trip tomorrow, show him his birth place, and let him see it one last time. We will visit the family cemetery where most of his family is buried. And hopefully it will settle him a bit. Calm him in a way that nothing has been able to calm him as of yet.

Hopefully.

Or it just might stir up a whole new disturbance and we will have to find a new remedy.

I have no idea how it will turn out, but I know that its been bearing on me for a few weeks to take him “home”.  To his family land. They no longer own it, but its his heritage. Its where he grew up, dirt poor, son of a moonshiner. He needs to see it one last time.

Clueless

I hate hearing the phone ring.

One of my siblings is driving us nuts.

She admitted to me today that she feels jealous because I “got” to take care of mom and dad, and it made her jealous of all the time I get to spend with them. She made a scene at the funeral, getting up in front of everyone and telling them she didn’t know her mom and now it was too late. I won’t go in to details but it was bad, those of us that know her and the situation, were embarrassed for her. There were about 15 minutes of excruciating drama that she brought on herself.  All because she was jealous that she didn’t chose to know her parents.

She has no clue.

She honestly has no clue.

She asked me tonight when dad will go back to being her daddy again. Really?  Are you that clueless? I mean come on…..

I told her never. That he would never go back to being the dad that we know and love, that we just have to love the one he is now.

Yes, I took the high road.

I wanted to scream at her.

I wanted to yell at her.

I wanted to tell her that if she hadn’t been so selfish for the past 15 years then she could have helped with the care of mom and dad.

I wanted to tell her that she chose to not have anything to do with them.

I wanted to tell her that many times she pushed me to put them in a nursing home.

I wanted to tell her that if left up to her, they would probably have wasted away in a home many, many years before because she didn’t have the time to pay attention to their needs.

I wanted to tel her that no, she didn’t know her mother, because any time she called she would only speak to dad. Anytime she visited it was because she was having some life crisis and needed a place to crash for a while. That she has been so wrapped up in her own life, she forgot that our parents were slowly fading away.

But I didn’t.

I will.

After dad passes.

I will tell her.

I will tell the other one.

Then I will be done.

Shorts

Today has been a good day.

I’ve thought of mom, I have remembered her, I have enjoyed remembering her.

Today has been a good day.

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Dad was talking to Youngest tonight, youngest was helping him get his boot on.

Dad: I sure do think a lot of you. I hope you know that.

Youngest wasn’t sure how to respond to that statement. With this stupid disease, platitudes are rare. This rare one chocked me and youngest both up. We both know how much it means.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Last week, dad walked in to a room I was in and motioned me over secretively. I went over and he hands me a folded up $20 bill. He leaned over and whispered “Happy Birthday” in my ear.

I teared up and told him it wasn’t my birthday.

He replied well, it will be again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I know dad is planning on leaving us soon. Whether he knows something we don’t, or if he just misses mom so much that he wishes it would happen. Whichever it is, I hope not. I’m not sure I can handle losing my parent’s so close to one another. I am dealing with mom’s death. Slowly. With the responsibility of taking care of dad, I take small moments to grieve. Moments to process. Moments to remember and love her. I can’t dwell on it. Which is a good thing.

The perfect bow

I know I tend to post on days when things are rough. This is my outlet, my release. So I post here.

We’ve had a pretty decent few days.

Dad is dealing with mom’s death in his own way. But he is dealing. He talks to her urn, he will pat it, hold it, and occasionally kiss it. It has helped him so much to have that urn here.

Tonight, I was shopping at wally world and the more I shopped the more down and depressed I felt. I was about 10 seconds from having a complete breakdown in the craft section of the store.

Until tonight that hadn’t happened.

I have had my crying spells, usually in my own home, sometimes in the car, mostly in the shower or in bed at night. But not out in public.

I was looking for a ribbon, a bow. The perfect bow.

Mom loved bows at Christmas. She put them everywhere. I remember one year her entire tree was different colored bows. No balls, just bows and garland and lights. It was beautiful.

I couldn’t find the right bow.

So I almost had a breakdown.

A friend was with me, and she distracted me enough that I was able to get control of myself.

I’m obsessed with this bow. It just won’t be Christmas until I find it.

I want a red velvet one, just wide enough to wrap around the neck of the urn, and have the bow in front with strands hanging in a curl down the front.  But I can’t find it.

I need it.

The perfect bow.