But...let's think of something good. Every time I come home from my parents' house, down in the dumps, my little furry kids elevate my mood with a well-placed lick or snuggle. They are like four-legged Joy vehicles, their primary purpose being to spread said joy wherever they go.
So, times are tough, of course, but I feel that God gives us what we can handle. No more and no less. We will all come out of this horrible situation as stronger individuals. And my father will come out of this into freedom. Freedom from his earth-bound bag of bones and freedom from his emotional and psychic bondage. What is on the "Other Side"? I haven't a clue. But I believe that there is something, something better than this world of chaos in which we live. At the absolute least, my Dad won't be suffering anymore, and that is good.
I had never imagined that this would be so damned difficult, this letting go, this view of a family member's transition from this world to the next. I thought Hospice was supposed to be a more humane level of care. And, I suppose, its main premise is just that: monitor the pain (the physical pain) and make it so that the dying patient is able to rest comfortably in his or her last days. But, here is the problem: when the patient has lost mobility and the patient's right arm is rendered useless from the tumors compressing his spine and the Parkinson's makes his communication almost nil--yet his mind is still as alert as ever--where in all of that does the word "comfort" apply? Physical pain is but one facet of death. Emotional and psychic pain are just as prominent. And so that is where the feelings of my being handcuffed come into play. Without communication, there is no way that I (we) can alleviate my father's pain. And that? That flat-out sucks donkey ass.
I always believed in Jack Kervorkian's theories and practices, and more so now, when I have the worst--physically paralyzed, waiting and waiting and waiting for the preoccupied Reaper--staring me right in the face. I was too young to really understand my dad's dad's passing from ALS, but I imagine it was something like what Bobby B. is now going through.
And I look up to the heavens and I say, "God, what did my father do to deserve this? Why must it be so slow? Why must it be so humiliating and embarrassing and why must he be reduced to such neotonical physicalities? Can't you expediate the process, Lord?" Yaweh hasn't gotten back to me on that. I can wait. But does my Dad have to, too?
For Daddy B.
my heart rends for you
the skies are dark and cloudy
through this, Light will come