What does your dad go by? Joe or Joseph?
The hospice nurse leans into the hospital bed that sits in the corner of his bedroom. I stand at the foot of the bed feeling defeated because I just couldn’t help him feel better. The damn Amyloidosis sprinkled the bad proteins. The chemo sucked. The pot didn’t increase his desire or ability to eat. God was out of miracles because Joe won’t be lacing up his golf cleats to cut the grass next weekend.
Joe. Right, dad? Just call him Joe.
Dead. Man. Walking.
Dad eeked out that one liner in short, exasperated breaths.
Dad, don’t say that. Plus, you’re not exactly walking.. So…Not necessarily an accurate description of your current state.
I usher the hospice nurse out of the room and can tell she doesn’t really get our sense of humor.
Again, this being The House of Horrors we tend to call it like we see it.
Do you think he’s seeing people? Having visions of people? He just said dead man walking, so I am just wondering. People who are transitioning sometimes see people.
Transitioning? Say the word, lady. He’s DYING.
No, he’s just kidding. Trying to make a joke.
You know, to cope. To deal. To accept.
Now, I could go into the details of Friday, but that would suck. Needless to say according to the a-little-light-reading-that-you’d-rather-poke-your-eyes-out from When Death is Near: A Caregiver’s Guide, Dad wasn’t supposed to peace out so soon.
But he was ready.
Again, me. Not so much.
I can hear him now. What are you going to do, Jod? All you can do is accept it. Your Mom and me did everything we could for you kids. You did everything you could for me. It is what it is.
But I don’t want to accept it. Isn’t that crazy? I just want my Dad back. I’ve accepted Mom’s fate long ago. But to take Dad first? Fucking cruel.
Oh, I digress. Needed to vent for a bit. Yikes.
If I conjure up images of Dad in that bed unable to be all things dad, well that bitch grief takes over and I turn into a puddle on the floor. Fetal position and all. My mind knows that he is up in heaven playing a round of golf with Bob and Bruce. That he’s eating his rainbow sherbert straight out of the container and following it up with a chocolate chip cookie from Costco. That he is out enjoying the sunshine, working on projects involving wood, meticulous measurement, always moving, always working.
Fingers crossed he’s got Frank Sinatra on, tapping his foot waiting for his Rosie.
Cue it up Dad. Work on those dance moves. Mom needs her favorite friend to take her for a spin on the dance floor.