Friday, 22 August 2008

At First I Was Pissed Off

Everybody knows that my Dad is dying. Nobody likes the words however. Okay, I will change the language for a minute and say my Dad is very ill. The minute has passed and now I need to keep it real in my own language and state that my Dad is dying.

My brother Gerry lives in Lethbridge, Alberta and his son Zac will be going on a mission for his religion (he is Mormon). Zac was going to give a speech to his church and so my Mom and my sister Mickey planned to drive out there and be a witness to this passage for Zac.

My Mom was hesitant to go because of how my Dad has been feeling. My Mom is so stressed out that we all felt that she should still go. Mickey volunteered to drive her and was quite happy to do so, as she said ‘when would she ever have another opportunity to go on a road-trip with Mom?’

So far, so good.

Mom was leaving on the 13th of August which was a Wednesday. Several days before her leaving we had a conversation because she was worried about who would come and see Dad and also if I would continue to bring him dinner.

I said not to worry because there were seven of us living in the city and we would take turns so that each person would be able to spend some time with Dad. Not only would we all get time with Dad, it would also help us relieve each other. Mom said well not really because some of them couldn’t be there to help Dad. I said bullshit. Of course they can. Everybody has shit to do, but this is important. Mom defended some of them saying that they were too busy. Like really? For fuck sake.

Let me do the math for you. These are the people in the city who should be available.


Basically it should be easy enough to follow as it is mostly simple subtraction.

Harry ‘-‘ did not come for the week but on the ‘+’ side is excellent because he gets the groceries once or twice a week; does their laundry; and takes Mom to bingo. He also brought supper one night because they haven’t been able to cook. So although he wasn’t there this week while Mom was gone, to me Harry is a big +. He is also married to a wonderful woman Jeanine who I am sure supports that he helps his family.

Dwain ‘-‘ apparently there for ½ hour on Monday.

Suzie ‘-‘ MIA.

Jacquie ‘+’ visited Dad and brought supper two nights while Mom was gone. This is a lot as her husband is quite ill and Jacquie herself is not in the best of health. She also had her daughter and grandchildren in from Brandon.

Renee ‘+’ brought supper two nights (Nathan made one dinner and Wahid made the other). Visited with Dad everyday and it was absolutely wonderful. We sat outside and talked about life and death and everything in between.

Shelly decided to go with Mom and Mickey.

Joey ‘-‘ MIA.

To add to this mathematical scenario is:

Colette ‘+’ came in on Thursday and bought Dad a hamburger and visited before she too went on a holiday.

Camille ‘+’ came in and is staying at Jacquie’s and has come and visited Dad with me and Jacquie everyday since she has come in.

The person I want to give the biggest ‘+++++++’ to is my niece Daisy. She has come to stay at my parents house for the whole week and is with her grandpa (my Dad), 24-7. Daisy is helping him a lot and Daisy herself is not well. She has Lupus and has just gotten out of the hospital recently.

I go over every day and bring them supper and visit or if Jacquie made supper than I visit and take care of my Dad while Daisy sits and visits with us. Daisy mentions almost everyday how much she loves staying with her grandpa and thinks she is the luckiest girl because she gets to spend time with the wisest man she knows.

And everyday when I go my Dad also mentions how great Daisy is to him and that she helps him in whatever he needs.

Some days I know it must be hard for her because he has been feeling really shitty. But then there are a few days where he bounces right back and feels okay. And on those days he tells us lots of stories. (And by the way Caroline and John my Dad misses his daily communication with you both, but sometimes when he feels better he reads your correspondence. Thanks to you both.)

I guess at first I was pissed off and I bitched to Camille about it. Saying how fucking ridiculous it is.

People don’t understand how sick I am of hearing that they care. Oh tell Dad, I love him, hope he gets better. Fucking tell him yourself. The proof is in the pudding people. If you care you will be there. Plain and simple.

Isn’t it funny that my Dad could take care of 13 children but 13 children cannot take care of our Dad.

In the title of this post I said that at first I was pissed off. I guess I still am, on the other hand, I think of what Angelique said and I know it is true. That I am the lucky one for getting to spend that time with him. It is not a chore to me, it is a privilege.

It is only because I know that he would be happy if his other children came and spent the time with him. He loves them all so much.


jacquie said...

i also have felt priviledged and am on my way to see mom and dad now....renee ang is right we are the lucky ones.
Daisy was so amazing in taking care of dad and i know she was not feeling well everytime i was over there.... you just had to look at her and you could tell.... but she did mention she had at least one male figure to look up to in her life and it is her grandpa.
daisy i am so proud of you and love you so much.... if only you knew your own self worth.
auntie jacquie

Anonymous said...

I don't expect you to publish this, and thats fine. I wanted you to know that I sang a special song, and dedicated it to your father, you and my friend joseph. Thank you for allowing me to see a personal part of your life. I so wish I was up closer, I would have come to help. Gosh you are one special gal!
Here you go..

I hope Henri will be able to hear this. Know that you're all in my thoughts. Even though your dad doesn't say much on msn, just seeing his name there is a comfort, as I know one day soon, it won't be there anymore. Please give him a hug for me.

jacquie said...

renee i forgot to ask

is this a portrait of dad or what ??
it looks so much like dad and harry.

Renee said...

Dear Caroline:

You have just given me the greatest gift.

I am going to have my Dad listen to the song, and even more than that hear your words that you have written. I know that he will be so pleased about what you have written about him.

It would be an honour for us to be able to read some of your words about him at his funeral (which hopefully will not be for a while). I know Caroline that he will be so proud.

Thank you also for the kind words you said about me. I want you to know that I too keep your friend Joseph in my prayers as my Dad has told me about him.

Caroline the song is also so beautiful, so much better than Josh Groban's version as it is so human.

I love you for this Caroline.

God Bless and remember to hang on for the ride.

Love Renee

p.s. everyone please go to Caroline's site and after you listen to the song, please read the words at the bottom of the page. Her site again is