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Twisted Thoughts

“If anything happens to me, I told Lana (my dad’s wife) to give you Pappy’s clock and my muzzle loader,” Dad said.

“You know I told you that I’ll be there for a funeral, but I’m not coming to any viewing if Lana decides to have one,” I replied. We live in an area that everyone obsesses over the whole three days of funeral activities. I hate it and find the process… just wrong.

I don’t want my last image of my dad to be one of him lying in suit with fluffy pillows around him and dark makeup trying to conceal his well-earned forehead wrinkles. I have a good image of him in my head right now, thank you very much.

“You need to wind the clock 18 ½ turns, once a week, and if it stops you have to go through all the numbers in a clockwise direction to reach the current time. Do you understand,” he said.

There seemed to be a little too much urgency in his voice. He knows, and I know when he knows. Maybe that’s what has me in a bit of twist…just as I wonder what would happen with the last half turn of the clock.

Maybe it is his age. Quite frankly, neither one of us imagined him reaching 70. I feel pretty damn blessed that he knows his namesake; given the fact that Russell wasn’t even a thought in my head during the very first round of problems more than 20 years ago.

I got a message on my phone late last night – the damn thing was on vibrate. “It’s me, Melissa.” He never calls me Melissa.

I’ve been Missy to him before I was born. I suppose it’s good that he left the message, right? “They’re doing a cath tomorrow morning. I’ll call you when I know something.”

I fight the urge to get in my car and fly over to the hospital a few hours away. I smile when I think of him saying, “Why’d you come. I told you I’d call.”

He’s a horrible patient. Hates to be confined and out of control and vulnerable. A few more shared similarities.

I try to respect his space knowing that he is more apt to keep me in the loop when he knows that I won’t drop everything and run his way, but I can’t help but think what could happen in one half twist.

Do I stay here and wait or wait there? I love his wife dearly, and she is a good, good woman, but I think sometimes she tries to comfort everyone too much and tell them it will be OK. That’s what she does. I suppose at 20 years his junior, it’s complicated. But I don’t want to hear her talk through it. Is that mean?

Do I wait and tell myself that he will be home on the weekend and Russell and I can both drive over to see him. Will I be mad at myself if I don’t go now? Will that be the half twist too far? Dad would tell me to go to work, especially since I just started a new job.

All these stupid-ass questions. They don’t change anything. I wish they did. I’ll go to work this morning, distracted, waiting in the office instead of at a hospital.

I want to push past the half twist – I want to intervene, make it all OK.


4 Responses

  1. Those are not stupid ass questions. You’re dealing with a huge issue with your dad. Be good to yourself. Sending you and your father positive thoughts.

  2. My opinion for this procedure today, and the whole viewing thing, is you need to do what YOU need to do. If it helps you to be there, go. If not, don’t. Unfortunately, either will be hard. The whole thing will be hard. Your dad sounds like an amazing man. I’ll be thinking about you both.

  3. Hi
    I stare at the computer not being sure what to say. I just wanted you to know you are in my thoughts. I agree with Karen and Lynn: take care of yourself. The more you take care of yourself health/mental-wise, the more you can be there for others when you need to be. Get some walking in to clear the mind, drink plenty of water. (hug)

  4. THANKS! The notes of encouragement help. It is hard not to shove food at the worry, but I know that will only complicate my life.

    Keep the hugs coming! I need them.

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