So I haven’t mentioned much about this online before, because it has been deeply personal, but as time progresses I have no choice but to begin writing about the implications in regards to my dad’s failing health. And why now? Because he is approaching his 60th birthday, when his doctors had told him he wouldn’t have made it to his 57th.
My father has a lung disease closely related to fibrosis which honeycombs his lungs from the bottom up. Basically, his lungs are slowly turning into concrete, and he’s been forced to remain on an oxygen tank full time for the last 2 years.
I have often been so impressed and amazed at how well my father has handled his particular situation, refusing to retire, always keeping a purpose in mind, and constantly reminding everyone that he was going to beat this disease. (He is currently on a lung transplant list, numbering 34 in the line of people waiting).
However, it was while seeing him this last weekend, on a spur of the moment need to see him and check on him, that I noticed time beginning to take its toll on him. He was forced to retire, has no purpose to fill his days, and has begun to admit that he was indeed going to die.
His lawn was in deep disarray, so I spent the extent of a full day mowing, trimming hedges, weed wacking, and washing his beloved basset hound, “Jag.” My father slept alot, winded often, even while hooked up to his oxygen tank, the medications he takes doing wild things to his system. I noticed his memory suffering, and noticed his distractions constant. And then, the biggest blow of all hit me. He would cough so much, a cough so dry and painful that he would nearly pass out.
So, I wanted to take this opportunity to let everyone know, if sometimes I seem distracted, or if sometimes I regard my own awful situations with a little less than stellar seriousness, its because I think an awful lot about my dad. Once strong, now suffering, now admitting to his own demise.
Hold tight to those you love, keep things in perspective, and remind yourself daily of this wild impermanance we all twist ourselves around.
So, dad? I know you can’t be bothered with reading blogs, but if you should stumble upon this one, read this much:
don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine. I promise.
I love you, old man.