It’s been a long road for my F-I-L. From the moment of diagnosis in June with prostate cancer, to the test results of it being also in his bones he’d voiced a desire to die "now". Numerous times he spoke of how lucky he was, how what a good life he’d had, how great his kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids were. How much he missed his wife who had predeceased him by a hair over 30 years. How he would be happy to see her again.
Yet he stayed, belying that wish. Funny how people say what is expected and their soul bears out the truth. He held on through his birthday, then the holidays, and lastly until one of his granddaughters had her first baby. Life force, will to live, fear of unknown, whatever it is you think it is, is a very very strong thing.
When he first went to his youngest daughter’s house at the end of August he was frail and presumed not long for this world. Had he remained in his home that would have been the case seeing as how we’d found him bleeding on the floor not all too long before then. He was barely eating, weak, and pissed as hell at his condition.
Enter BIL who cooks wonderfully and lots of love, attention and company from all his kids and he bounced back to enjoy a few months relatively pain free, with time to set all of his affairs in order in a manner he desired. The last couple of weeks have been rough. Appetite and desire declining steeply, breathing more laboured, and weakness returning with a vengeance. Yet still hanging on.
The granddaughter’s baby is not even 2 weeks old. Aaaahhhhh …… there FIL goes. Though admittedly, even from the phone call on Sunday morning saying, "Come now!" he hung on until Monday afternoon. All the grandkids made it in or were able to phone him for their good-bye. Really as it should be, yes?
Three days and 2 nights we were at SIL & BIL’s house. Two nights on a cement floor, combined sleep = one night, maybe. The first night I was back up at 4:30 to relieve the sister sitting with FIL and my neck told me it loved the cement floor and I should have the hubster pour cement in our bedroom post-haste. The second night the big stupid snow storm came (which is why there was a second night) and the floor got extra cold with the wind once the fire went out. Even knowing better than to sleep on a strange couch I climbed up on it and proceeded to ruin my neck.
From top of neck to tailbone is screaming with accessory yells traveling through my limbs. But, what can you do? I’m rather wanting to slice my wrists and slip into the bath, but "Oh, the mess!" Mental pain blocking techniques fail to work when the fatigue level rises beyond a certain point. It has risen far above that so …. I type. Typing requires little effort.
Last night because of the storm (Nine inches in less than those hours- WTF!) it took the funeral home people 2 1/2 hours to get there to collect the body. It took the same amount of time for 2/3 of my kiddie clan to get home (usually a 45 minute drive). The final 1/3 of the clan was sitting with the grandboy who was off school for President’s Day.
This morning there was light bickering amongst the crowd about details far in the future that did not need to be decided right now and now details that needed agreed upon today. But everyone copes differently. This one goes outside and shovels snow. That one focuses on immediate details. The one over here separates to another room and sobs. Over there is the one who sits and stares at the now empty sick bed, tears streaming silently. Future detail one is bringing up valid points that no-one can deal with hearing at the moment. One sits, assesses, smoothes over with words and waits to be back home for the washing from the eyes. Somehow everyone stays sane, marginally stable, and upright. It’s how we do it, every time.
The ride home was uneventful. I only slid the car here and there as my expectation of how quickly 9 inches of snow can be cleared greatly differs from the reality. There were some Surprise! areas. And we were coming from the boonies so …. bah. Home safe and kinda sorta sound, considering.
The hospitality of the SIL and BIL who’s house we’d all invaded was beyond awesome and that is an understatement. Our daughter and older son arrived with a combo of homemade and purchased food yesterday so people wouldn’t starve and so we didn’t. Not that we would have. BIL would have cooked, but they thought he may appreciate not having to do so, or for so many. They were correct.
Bagel dog and mountain lion cat did not tear the house apart while we were gone, nor piddle and poo everywhere which is a shock and a blessing. (In all fairness, the cat has a litter box. Wonder if bagel dog used it?) I think the Yorkie panicked so hard at us not being there that she shut down her kidneys. But wow … and YAY! She was tended to by older son yesterday afternoon, but then had about 20 hours of not being put outside. So again … wow.
Arrangements are being finalized right now. Prayers and energy being prepared and sent. People will come and then they will go. All welcome, all appreciated. Life continues its cycles oblivious to creating heavy hearts, but touched by them just the same as we ripple the fabric with another who crosses the veil for the umpteenth time for this blessed soul. And so we Hail! Hail the Traveler! I love you, Papa Jones. ❤
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