Saturday, July 22, 2023


Every time she says I can do something when she’s dead, I am tempted to ask if she can die sooner than later because the list of what I cannot do now is growing by leaps and bounds.

You can take that painting down when I die. Until then, leave it. When I die you can move those chairs, until then, let them stay. You can clear away that stuff when I’m dead. Just leave it for now. I don't want to take that trip but you can go when I'm dead. Don’t move these things here. You can toss them all into the trash when I’m gone.

God understands so I don’t feel but so bad for the thoughts that sometimes run through my head. I’m especially mindful though not to say them out loud. But I cannot make her understand that we are still here, and our choices should not be dependent on what a dead man once wanted for himself. But celebrating the here and now is suddenly foreign to her.

When my father died, she too stopped living. It has taken the patience of Job to keep her pushing forward with both feet. Most times, I have had to drag her along kicking and screaming. Change terrifies her and she sees death as the only answer to her fears. She’d been married to him longer than I’ve been alive, and his world was all she’d ever known. For sixty-plus years her entire existence had revolved around him, and now she feels lost with him not here. That makes me so sad.

I had hoped she would want more in however long she has left. That she would finally step out of the shadows and shine. She had once been a vibrant personality. She could slay dragons, run marathons, and take the world by storm with a simple dance step or two. That mother had no fear of anything. That mother lived every day for her next adventure. That mother held tightly to family and friends. People meant more to her than things. We lost my mother when my father died. That woman, is the one I miss even more than not having my father here. 

Thursday, February 16, 2023


My beloved father was recently referred to hospice. So we brought him home to die. No one prepares you for the waiting. They generalize the expectations because everyone’s experience in hospice is different. But no one tells you that waking every morning, wondering if today will be your loved one’s last day, is emotionally and physically debilitating. They don't tell you that sleep is difficult because you're afraid to not be there when they need you.

Patience has never been one of my virtues. Rushing through those things I can control is my norm. But no one wants to rush death. And waiting for it, knowing it will inevitably invade your happy place but not knowing exactly when, is brutal. Since the decision was made, each day has gotten harder. Daddy’s needs change with each passing hour. The caregiver responsibilities must sometimes change on a dime. And patience is often the divide between success and failure when you must wait, uncertain what will come, and what you must rise up to meet.

His hospice care team have been phenomenal. Their support and guidance have allowed us the grace to do this. Friends have circled around, support unexpected and appreciated. Family have stood strong, despite the inevitable drama that comes with fear and sadness and the lack of patience for bullshit usually ignored. Gratefully, petty disputes over rice and plastic cups only last as long as the timer for his next dose of pain meds to be dispensed, or the tears that come with the memories.

I cherish the memories. Not just those well in the past, but those made as family and friends have said their goodbyes. Memories wrapped in laughter that rattles the walls of our home, or watered by the mist of ugly tears. Losing myself in the memories has kept me standing. They have helped me with the waiting. I’m learning the fine art of patience. I just hate how the lesson is being taught.