Tuesday, April 28, 2009

I made it exactly 24 hours

before losing my shit. That is some kind of record for me, really. I spent the day with my mom & dad at the hospital, and things are looking bleak. A CT scan revealed the large mass in his lung as well as spots on his liver and spleen. His heart is still functioning at 15% instead of the usual 60% of a normal healthy heart. Tomorrow they'll snake a tube down his throat and take a biopsy to see what form of evil his illness has taken. We won't know what we're dealing with or how to deal with it until Friday, at the earliest.

Dad's in fine spirits, all things considered. He is one of those Zen dudes who is down with Jesus, and he is ready to go if that's what's on the map. However, he says that he will fight it, thank goodness. I know that's weird to say, but it isn't a given for us. You see, my dad is a Christian Scientist, not to be confused with a Scientologist, thankyouverymuch. He doesn't worship Xenu or anything like that. My mom is a staunch Presbyterian so my sister and I were raised in that faith. It wasn't until Dad got old that he started getting real medical care; before then, he did just fine with prayer. So, it's good that he's ok with chemo and radiation and whatever else the doctors want to do to him to get it gone. I'm glad.

I have been very fortunate in my life as far as losing people, which is interesting considering the fact that it has always been my biggest fear. Apart from distant aunts and uncles, the closest person I've lost is my grandmother, who passed away two years ago at the age of 91. I loved that woman silly and still miss her all the time, but by the time you're 91, people don't freak out when you die, ya know? Besides, she was all kinds of demented at the end, so it was pretty much a blessing at that point. Anyway, I don't have a lot of experience with losing my loved ones, and history proves that I will be a big fucking pussy about this. What? It's true.

You see, my first reaction to something this earth-shattering is typically to go to pieces and cry a lot. It's not flattering, but it's true. My family is full of stoic types who wait to freak out until they're alone, but I'm the one who immediately jumps to the endgame and then figures out the details later. It's just how I'm built; I'm hard-wired to freak, if you will. But so far, this has been different.

A couple of weeks ago I had one of those dreams where your teeth fall out. When you look that shit up, it tells you about how it's an anxiety dream about your fear of loss and death. Well, I had this dream about my dad, and when I woke up it was like someone whispered in my ear, "He is going to die." But I didn't freak out. I had this eerie sense of calm about it all. Last night, when he called to tell me about what was happening, that same calm descended upon me and didn't leave all day today, even when I showed up at the hospital and my dad tearfully told me that he probably wouldn't make it to see his first grandson graduate from High School after all.

Yes, I wept a bit here and there, but I kept it together all day, even when I was alone in my car, where I usually allow myself to disintegrate if need be. My sister and I talked about how we both had this strange detachment and peace about it all, about how we were ready to do battle with him and fight it and do what we could, but if it came to the end, well... we were ready. My dad did it all right; we have no bad blood between us, no things left unsaid. My sister and I are 100% sure that he loves us, is proud of us, and wants the best for us. In all of my almost-34 years, I've never had a beef with Dad. He's the guy I'd call just to chat on a Tuesday afternoon, the guy who taught me how to spring a great quote at just the right moment, the guy whose sense of humor I emulated and share.

It wasn't until I had a glass of wine with dinner that something inside me clicked and all hell broke loose. Wine is the key to many things, you see, and closely-guarded emotions are only the beginning. I escaped to the bathroom and quietly let it rip. I didn't want to scare the kids with my animalistic keening, so I risked bursting some blood vessels and had a silent nervous breakdown. I wrapped it up when I heard the baby calling, "Mommmmmy!" outside the door and knew that the dog would be counter-surfing if I didn't get off my duff and load the dishwasher.

I feel better now. The messages here and on Facebook have really helped, and as always, you find out who your friends are in these cases. I appreciate all of your well-wishes and support. I don't know how much I'll blog about what we'll be going through with Dad. I don't know if I'll feel like talking about it or escaping from it, I just don't know. I may find it cathartic to blog about this experience; I have always written to find peace, and I wrote this blog for quite a while before anyone showed up to read it. ;) So, if I bore you, just skip it, and I'll be back to my usual goofy self in no time, I'm sure. Thanks for understanding.


Samsmama said...

Oh, Bev, I'm so sorry. I had no clue your dad had any sort of health problems. I feel like a horrible follower.

Anything you need, we're here. Your in my head and heart.

Also...I've had that tooth falling out dreams for years! I always assumed it had to do with my poor dental hygeine.

Bev said...

Maryann, thanks. Don't feel like a bad follower at all! I don't even know if I've mentioned my dad's health before, ever!

Thanks for reading. I hope you know that I am so glad to know you! And something tells me that your dental hygiene is just fine. :-*

Frank Irwin said...

Sorry to hear about your Dad, Bev. At least y'all will be prepared if the worst does happen. He may not get to see his grandson graduate, but he will have known his grandson and, more importantly, his grandson will have known him.

Jillinator said...

I just didn't know what to say today - I'm always the bright side of things kind-o-gal so I'm pulling for it being just about nothin'... that being said I'm also including him in some prayers (can't hurt... might help) okay, can't hurt might help reminds me of a card I got once... it said if life hands you lemons, tuck-em in your bra... can't hurt, might help

Steph said...

Oh, Bev. I'm just so damn sorry. Truly. If you need to talk or sob mindlessly to a sympathetic ear, I'm here. I'm e-mailing you my phone numbers. I wish I could help somehow. Please let me know if there is ANYTHING I can do, okay?

Harmony said...

Bev, what can I say? I am sorry for your having to go through this. I wish that there was more that I could do, other than type silly comment about my sorrow for your sorrow.

Your Dad sounds like an amazing man, and your words on him are beautiful...he is the type of man people dream of, I am glad that you two are so close.

I am just like you, in the sense of not having lost anyone really close to me. Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles..yes, but we didn't know them. I tend to lose my shit early in the game, and call on to the most devastating outcome early...I don't know if it's to help deal with crap before it happens...or just some screwed mechanism in the brain.

You and your family will be in my thoughts....((hugs))

Brooklyn ML said...

You wrote a beautiful tribute to your father; he has every reason to be proud of you.
I'm thinking of you, dear.


Bev said...

Thank you all so much. You all know exactly what to say to make me feel better, and I so appreciate it!


raskal said...

Bev, I am sitting here, bawling my eyes out. I loved every word you shared about yourself and your dad. I hope that that peace and calm stays with you, even if it's elusive at times. I am an endgamer, too... a worst case scenario-er... all of that we share. I get the sense that you have some premonition of what's going to happen here, even before you really knew about it.

I will continue to think about you and send peace and love to you and your family. And write as much or as little about it as you want to. There is zero pressure to be funny or lighthearted or whatever. Just be who you are, because we love you, just as you are.

(PS - I am so glad you udpated today because I've been stalking you online @ facebook to check in)

Krystie Lee said...

Hi Bev, I found you through Steph's blog. I'm so sorry for what your family is going through. You'll be in my thoughts.

Pam said...

I am sorry to hear your Dad is so sick, Bev. I hope your dream was just a bad nightmare and it doesn't indicate anything bad. I will keep your family in my thoughts.

Bev said...

Lisa, Krystie, and Pam, thank you for your kind words and good thoughts for my dad. Oh, and Lisa... stalk me on Facebook and anywhere you want, my friend! *muah*