These days, it’s the question I dread the most: “How is your father doing?” I’m glad people ask; that they haven’t forgotten him. That’s not the reason for my trepidation. It’s the answer that I dread. “He’s not getting any worse,” I explain, “but he’s not getting any better.”
I’m glad he’s still with us, but I don’t like to think of the cost.
How Am I?
After asking about my father, typically the next question invariably is, “How are you doing?” Whenever I’m asked this, images of my father lying in a hospital bed spring unbidden to my mind: his hands, when he tries to move them can really hold nothing; his mouth tries to form words that never reach my and my sister’s ears; his eyes often don’t focus, even though he’s “looking” at you. What do I say when the universe is tilting several degrees off its axis, and the messages from my brain to my limbs are misaligned? So I lie.
“I’m fine,” I reply.
Life is Like That
While it feels sometimes that I’m literally falling apart, I suppose I really don’t want this to be “easy;” that too would feel all wrong. So, I focus on the fact that I am here for my dad; that once he read me bedtime stories, but now I read to him. It is sad to see him slip away from my sister and me, but if I concentrate on who he is (my father) and what that means to me (he helped make me into a strong woman), then I guess it is true after all. I. Am. Fine.