I don’t mean to write about these topics so much. I don’t mean to be the girl who is sad. But lately this all seems to surround me.
My dad has open heart surgery. We mark the two year “anniversary” of my mother’s death. And I learn of three deaths in the span of two weeks. The first was pretty remote to me. The second was less so. And the third. Well, that one did me in.
My father is one of five children. But beyond his four sisters, he has a massive network of cousins and cousins in laws. In some cases, he has know the cousins in law just as long. They all grew up together in a fairly small town in Italy and most then all traveled together to Venezuela. These were/are my dad’s friends. It was his family. But it was his network. And these people were my family and my network growing up. I’d call them zios or compare whether or not it was proper. It was always easier.
In a lot of ways, my dad lives in the happy times he shared with all his relatives. The times before it became fractured and families splintered apart. He misses the unity. And sometimes he stubbornly can’t see that it is still there. It’s just morphed a little bit in style and flair.
But these happy times for him are some of the most entertaining stories I know. And today I went to the funeral of a man who is in many of those stories for my dad. I know it will eat at my dad for the rest of his life that he was never able to see Mike in his last days. The smallness of the world found the two of them two floors apart in the hospital that last week. Michele was on the tenth, while my dad was on the eighth. It gives me a small sense of peace knowing I was able to see Michele. Knowing that I was able to pass some time and hold his hand as he told me how much he wanted to go to the mass for my mother.
My dad could never really go up there to see him because of the high risk for infection. The hospital wasn’t crazy about it. Michele was bed ridden so he could not come down. And no one wanted to risk either of them getting even more sick.
Had my dad not been in the hospital he would have been one of the first persons to visit.
It’s horrible to think about. And my dad was not able to go to the funeral. And he has not been able to call his cousin to offer his condolences.
Being a man of no words, my dad hasn’t said much of anything. But I know it’s hard for him.
I know it was hard for me. I was overcome with so much sadness at the funeral. The memories were unbearable. We were in that same funeral home. Same church just two years and a week earlier.
But it was more than that. Michele was one of the kindest and most loving men I’ve ever known. It wasn’t anything specific. But he just emanated good. Sure, he was a medical miracle living for 21 years with a new liver. And maybe having that second shot at life made a person love everything more. But his soul always felt pure and good.
It makes me wonder about what I’m doing with my life. (which, frankly, feels like not much lately.) I want that love of life he always seemed to have. I will never forget the way he said my name. I will never forget how he always kissed both cheeks. And his kind calm way of speaking. I will never forget being jealous that my mom opened her eyes for him when she was still in her coma back in August of 1992. But he was the one who sat with me and said “don’t worry, she’s tough. Tough like me.”
I am not sure where I stand on heaven. Or god. Or the beyond. But, I like to think that somewhere, my mom and Michele are kicking back having a glass of wine and catching up on things.
It all still holds pretty true. I still don’t know what to do.
Needless to say it’s weird being back in a hospital these days. The timing of everything is fairly ridiculous. But, the circumstances are different. And more positive. And fortunately, we have not had to repeat a room.
Now. I promise this ends it. No more maudlin crap from me. I’ll post some ridiculous picture of something shortly.
I’m a neurotic bastard who freaks out over the littlest things. I’ve been conditioned to always expect the worst to happen. I’m on perpetual lookout for the so-called “other shoe” to come crashing on my head. But, really, the past two years have been calm from the panic.
I’ve even been, what some might say, optimistic.
I bought a place that I love and adore. I finally started to free my dad from his overdependence. I am so abundantly grateful for the new people who have fallen into my life. And I finally started to feel somewhat comfortable in my own skin. To the point where I even kind of liked me.
But here we are. The week long cycle. Waiting for a parent to survive a frightening surgery. Sure, bypasses are normal these days. They’re like oil changes. Routine. No worries.
And I know we’ll survive. I know my dad (one of the strongest people I know) will do fine.
But, I still panic. I worry. And I get angry. I feel like this is the other shoe I’ve been waiting for all these months.
I’m just so sad right now. I’m terrified for my dad. He seems tiny these days. Seeing him scared is one thing I’ve never been able to handle.
But beyond that, having to now step back into that hospital on the same day we showed up with my mom two years ago is torture. I do not want to do it. I don’t want him on that same exact floor. I don’t want him in the same room. I’ll have to dig deep to find the courage to step foot back on that unit.
It’s like a cruel twist of life to bring us back there on this anniversary. How is it fair? It’s cruel enough to have to require him to go through the surgery. But, to be on the floor where you watched your wife breathe her last breath? It’s just evil.
Like I said, I know we’ll get by. I know that I will survive. I just feel so beaten down right now. I thought I was done with all this for a while. Two years wasn’t long enough. I’m not done being sad about losing my mom. I am not ready to handle all this stress again.
This is me now.
Washington Caps vs. …Columbus Blue Jackets…?
What kind of name…? “Hey everyone, you excited for our home team, the Blue Jackets? Yay. Go, Blue… Jackets. We really know how to… keep you…warm.”
There are many obscure sports teams in American sports; the…
So, basically, the Connecticut Whale could have been worse? Still not sure.