I haven’t been myself the past couple of days. I’ve been quiet. Lost in thought, lost in emotions, lost in a lot of things that I am dreading and hoping will just fast forward away.
I saw dad for the last time locally. He was transferred from the local nursing home to the Veteran’s Administration facility in Wilkes-Barre, PA, yesterday. He’s now two hours away so as my current schedule stands (zombie like hours/zombie like life), I will see him less than maybe I want to at this point. I don’t know. I’m still in a daze.
I’ve been working around the clock but that’s not a really an excuse for not seeing him. I was letting the anger from the last visit dictate my life. It was wrong because I’ve let my feelings about his past actions linger for a long time. I couldn’t see how bad he’s gotten or how bad he’s going to get because he’s cried wolf a thousand million times before and I’m past the point where it works. It’s sad that it came to it and I won’t beat myself over too much about it, but yeah, I should have been the bigger person and visited more while he was local.
So seeing him on Monday was eye opening. He’s frail. He hasn’t lost a lot of weight but he’s lost a lot of the intimidation factor. He’s a confused old man right now. Rather than the oppressing loud nightmare of a man, he was an old guy stumbling over his words, getting lost in his thoughts and having a hard enough time getting jokes without getting angry because he didn’t understand they weren’t insults.
Serious about that. We had to calm him down when his roommate made a joke about Romeo being a vampire. I thought he was going to get up and swing at the guy. It’s just his brain is so far gone due to the dementia that it’s getting primal. The only person I can compare him to is the character of Spinner Dunn in the cult classic ‘Death to Smoochy.’ Spinner was a boxer who had too many blows to the head during his career and was left with brain damage. Functional, but not right. If you’ve seen the movie you’ll know and that, to some extent, was what faced me when I looked at my father.
The visit didn’t last long, I had to go back to work, we even hugged at the end, which was weird because we’re not huggers. I don’t think I’ve hugged him since I was 7 or 8 years old. It just doesn’t happen in this family (Last time I saw her, my sister shook my hand goodbye for goodness sake), and it was heart breaking. I can’t feign ignorance, I can’t say I didn’t know, I can’t sit here and wallow about my failures either, but yeah. It was a mistake on my part not to go back and see him before he got this bad. He’s not dead, but I don’t know if what he is now is much better than that.
I still sleep with a chair propped against my door. I’ve been doing that since I was in my mid-teens when dad had real problems. Funny though, I didn’t secure it that well the other night and Buddy, our collie, was able to get by it with ease to wake me up to take him outside. After all these years my safety was an illusion. Defeated by a collie with a big nose.
I guess that’s how life always goes.
More blogs coming. Comics are a maybe. Just needed to get this out of my system.