Day 4 since my father was admitted to the ICU. I’ve been in Tucson staying at his home for 3 endless days and nights. Talking to nurses. His case manager. What our next step could or should be.
With barely a hint of a soft and sad sounding whisper, my father said to me, “I’m so relieved to see you. Are you doing everything you can to get me out of here?”
It had only been a couple of hours since his first feeding began with his new peg tube. A maiden voyage with a feeding tube.
“Yes Dad, I’m doing everything I can to get you out of here.”
How did he have so many questions? How was I able to answer every one? Then to my surprise, I was caught off guard when the same questions were being asked of me once more. The whispering quite soft combined with the coughing quite loud.
“Where are you staying?” he asked again.
“I’m staying at your house and I’ll still be there when you get home.”
I read his lips as they moved and said, “That’s good.”
“Our family is small Dad – but we are mighty!”
He looked at me with a gentle smile as he pulled his hospital blankets up around his tender neck.
Another long visit. Another long day in Tucson in my father’s empty home. My sadness comes to the surface as I walk into his kitchen. Sadness much more extreme than when I am sitting in the ICU with him.
Taking care of the must-do tasks and chores and errands for my father is a labor of love that I am honored to do. I keep moving, yet, my bottomless sadness makes time stands still. How ironic that today is daylight savings time where every state in the USA sets their clocks back – every state that is – except Arizona. I could have used that extra hour today. An extra hour to help my father be more comfortable. An extra hour to use to apologize to my kind and thoughtful gentleman who drove me to Tucson, who made sure I ate, who lets me cry and cry and cry. California has never felt so far away. Love has never felt so close.