Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Dad & Storm Trooper

Mom and Dad came up to help me with the move. They love organizing kitchens. Dad will be 81 in a few weeks, Mom will be 79 in a few months.

Dad, once a 250 lb, 6'4" man with stamina that would not quit with a mind that was sharp as a tack, is frail, thin, weak, diminishing.  You might recall, almost 5 months ago he was flown by Mayo 1 to St. Mary's Hospital and operated upon immediately.  The prognosis was grim.  His internal organ damage pretty widespread... coming into ICU, he did not look like my father.  He looked like what I expected to cut upon in a few years.  Pasty white, lips drawn wide... the ICU physician answering all my questions in "common" speak until I probed further.

My dad has overcome several further hospitalizations: pseudomonas, staph, kidney failure, 2nd bout of pseudomonas, some GI tract infection (thank you pharma for Flagyl), aneurysm recently found, and more kidney failure... don't forget about the prostrate, lack of a spleen, CHF.  Thank GOD he stopped smoking and doesn't drink a lot, if ever anymore (especially while taking Flagyl!)...

Anyway, before I knew the extent of the above and while sitting in my dining area, I asked about taking a trip this summer to the Caribbean, and Mom said she didn't think Dad would be strong enough. I thought maybe she was just being overly dramatic. She is known to do that.

Dad watched Bentley out on our deck. Bentley is everything anyone could want in a great dane puppy. Majestic, proud, noble, confident. As Bentley went to lay down in the warm spring sun, Dad remarked, "Storm is looking so good these days."

I replied, "Dad, that isn't Storm. That's Bentley. Storm died, remember?"

"Storm died?" he queried... he'd gotten my devastated phone call at 7 AM the morning Storm died and drove feverishly to get to me to console his beyond the despair daughter.

"Yes, Dad. Storm died a few months ago, remember? You came up that morning to console me?"

"I thought you had two great danes."

"I did. Storm and Dutch. Both are gone now. Bentley is new."

A few seconds passed. Seemed like an eternity for me. Dad sat looking down and said nothing for a bit.

"Yeah. That's right. Storm died when the vet made a mistake."

"Yes, Dad. You're right, that's exactly what happened."

And then, I knew. And in the truck tonight driving with my son, I realized my days with the only man that I know loves, and has loved, me (my son doesn't count), are dwindling.

As I led my parents in the caravan to dinner, my eyes watered up.

Damn allergies anyway.

1 comment:

NP Odyssey said...

So hard to see your parents getting older and wondering how you can take care of them.