Thursday, September 02, 2004

So Dad's going downhill fast. Yes, I expected it, but I guess my Mother and sister (who are there with him) didn't. Every day is a new low. Yesterday, he wandered off into the garage took a crap next to the Buick. Last night he rolled out of bed and went to the bathroom while lying on the floor. My mother gently says he's having "trouble finding the bathroom." This is why I told her weeks ago to consider getting a nurse for home, but she can't stand the thought of strangers in her house. She's finally considering moving Dad to the local hospice center. He had wanted to stay at home and die there, but it doesn't look like that'll work out.

My sister, in yet another of her late arrivals, has been reading the hospice literature and is wondering is she should have a talk about spirituality and the afterlife with Dad. I said, "Maybe it's a bit late for that now." Consider, he's had cancer and faced death for a year. These last-minute realizations are becoming my sister's trademark. She recently discovered computer viruses have invaded her PC, and she's stunned.

I had planned to drive south this weekend, but we have another hurricane coming our way. I thought about leaving this morning, driving 4 hours to Naples, staying the night and rushing back tomorrow to be here for the storm Friday night. Natalie didn't like the idea of hanging here along with Jake and I don't blame here. Part of me wants to say, "My Dad's dying, I have to be there." But another part wonders if Dad would even know I was in the room. If the storm blows through in time, I intend on leaving Saturday.

In the meantime, I find myself very attached Jake, almost as a replacement for my Father. Not in a bonding way, but almost body for body. As my father loses his battle against cancer, Jake gets bigger and healthier by the day. I watch him astonished, forever impressed with the imperatives of our species. I haven't told him much about Dad, except that he's sick. I'm debating whether or not he should go to the funeral or even see my Father again in this weakened state. I can recall going to an uncle's funeral when I was about 6, hearing people talk about how "good Frank looked" in the casket. I don't recall it being a bad thing, but I also don't think I understood what being dead was.

This hurricane one looks bigger and badder than the last. On the plus side, the weaker trees are already gone. On the minus side, many of them are lying at the roadside in pieces, waiting for the proper wind to become airborne projectiles. The thought of no power for six days again makes me very, very sad.

The pace around here is getting crazed already. Last night (Wednesday)< I went looking for a few things - a battery-powered TV, a latern. Salespeoples just shook their heads sadly. "We sold out yesterday." For the last storm, almost nobody prepared. This time, they've bought all the battery-powered TVs 72 hours before landfall. I guess this is an improvement.

The University has shut down for Thursday and Friday, as have public schools. Thanks God Jake's little school stayed open today. Having to deal with a five-year-old thrown off his schedule is not what we need now.

Thanks to all for the emails and good thoughts.

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