What a Drag it is Getting Old

My dad had emergency surgery a few weeks ago. He is on the mend now, but it was a hairy few days. I had to fly out of town. I haven’t wanted to write about it because everything is resolved, and because it wasn’t very funny.

I can’t even think of how to make it funny.  I thought my dad was going to die. Truly he has been dying in pieces for years. He no longer sounds like my dad. He is an older, frailer, less dynamic dad than I know. That’s okay, I love him and and thankful for the time he is here. While I am getting used to the idea that he won’t always be here, I don’t really like it. The memory loss and confusion make it more difficult to resolve things or even bring things up – which takes a toll on what has been a very open relationship. While I was getting through my days at the hospital, I had other hurdles I didn’t see coming.

He and his lovely 80 year old wife wanted to whisk him out of the hospital to their lovely home as soon as he got out of surgery. Which I understood, but he needed to spend a week in the hospital and then some time in a rehab facility – not that kind…but, one for occupational and physical therapy. But, no. They thought it would be best to go home and rehab. So, you see the dilemma. Without getting into specifics, lets just say…this is another thing about growing up that sucks.

I had to tell his wife that  if they went home and he went down and took her with him, 2 broken hips and they would never see each other again. That made her cry again. Me too. But, c’mon these people are stubborn. And, I get it. You spend your whole life growing up, doing and not doing things because you have parents, then kids. When you finally get to let loose….well, you may not be able to be on your own anymore. This couldn’t sit well with anyone of any age. I earned my wisdom and the ability to make my decisions. And, because I am not married, I no longer need to get anyone’s approval to do anyfucking thing. (That is delightful, I tell you. I try not to laugh out loud with glee when my married friends say, “I have to check…”)

I would be terribly resentful and angry at anyone who was trying to take that away from me.  And, what makes me think I know anything about it? Well, I don’t. But, I know what it feels like to need to be in control to get through your day. And, when you can’t be in control – major suckage.

And, then in the middle of all of that, while you think you are coping, your parent says something like, “This isn’t worth it.” I get that too. When you have spent most of the last few years in doctor’s offices, with no end or relief in sight, you get tired. And, when you are upwards of 40, you are already always tired. They have lost several friends and family members in the last few years. My dad is the only remaining sibling or spouse in his family of 14. It sucks.

As if this wasn’t difficult enough, all of this reminds me how old I am. How if I sit too long, my hips get stiff. How I don’t really sleep through the night. How I can’t get comfortable and can’t sit, stand, or lay for too long.  I can’t see. I can’t hear – I think it is actually time to go get a hearing aid or two. But, WTF? How did I get here? Hearing aids? Okay, sure, some of the hearing loss is organic and some can be blamed on my propensity to listen to my music very loud. But, I am still going to shows. I laughed when I read about Brian Johnson turning the mic over to Axl because he didn’t want to damage his hearing further. Not very rock-n-roll. But, I get it now.

So, it gets me thinking. My writing career and all that encompasses is the brain exercise I am doing to keep that part working. I get some exercise, but really should hit the yoga mat a few times a week and walk a ton more. A renewed commitment to keeping busy. Less TV, more reading, working, writing. A renewed plan for physical health. I have already upped my diet to be more vegetable/fruit less crap.

The last few years I have been downsizing my things. I have also been downsizing my wasted energy. I don’t want to waste any precious time on dumb stuff. Funk the dumb stuff. And, almost everything is dumb stuff. I left my large pile of shit to do and took my kids to the coast. My heart and soul are renewed.

Suddenly, some things don’t seem to matter anymore. Excellent – more time for the things that do.

 

My Childhood is a Liar

My childhood was a lie. A big fat lie. Like a lot of kids, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to get away from my parents. I couldn’t wait to make all of my own decisions. What happened to the “doing what I want when I want how I want and where I want” adulthood I couldn’t wait to get to?  What happened to that? My childhood was a big fat liar.

I’ve gone on and on about a lot of things that are surprising as we age. Well, I was surprised, anyway.  If last year was the year of children related horrors, this year is shaping up to have a completely different focus.

One of my best friends and favorite people lost her mom last week. She held her hand and loved her until she slowly slipped away. I kept her company with daily texts and support as she was there for me when my mom died. She also remembers the tiny shit show that happened after. We were going to get together at my favorite wine bar a few days ago and raise a glass to our parents and share memories. She had to bail as she had funeral arrangements to handle. I called another friend. When she arrived, she announced she had just come from her Stepdad’s funeral. We spent the evening discussing her trials. Then this morning, another close friend has lost a parent.

This is another ugly chapter in adulthood. While I can usually find the silver lining, it kind of sucks. You spend all this time growing up, getting a job, getting married, building a family, getting a divorce, building a new life and you are just about to enjoy your adulthood, when all hell breaks loose.  I was making plans for a fun retirement, and I may be caught up in a few things that will impede that fun. And, chances are, by the time I am done with all of that…I will be ready to attend the funeral I have already picked the music for. Yes, I have really chosen the music for my memorial/party, whatever. Have you heard some of the crap that plays at funerals?  If I hear Bette sing about being a bird again, I might lose it. And, while some of the other traditional songs are beautiful, they are just not my style. Besides, why on earth would I want the same songs from everybody else’s funeral?

My dad’s health is failing and his memory is going, going, almost gone. He has lost his will, I think and that is the hardest thing for me. Who can blame him, he has no siblings left and most of his friends are gone? His closest relative is his cousin and both are in such poor health, it is unlikely they will see each other again. He is in constant pain and spends many hours “doctoring.” He no longer resembles that Dad I had, physically or mentally. I’ve been grieving him a little bit for a long time. I’m completely okay with his decisions and plans. And, if he is ready to go, I must let him. He has taught me so many things in life, I guess now he is teaching me to die. Even though some of the best lessons he taught me are how to live.

I know this is a normal occurrence. I do. Your parents should die first. I am lucky to have had my dad for so long. But, now is the ugly stuff: dying, death, funerals, wills, estate settling, and a long (hopefully) future without any parents. I have never been “Daddy’s little girl.” I wasn’t spoiled like that. But, we have spent most of my adulthood very close. Who will I call when I don’t know what to do? The tears just started…so, done with this line of thought.

So many things have turned out be be lies. Next, I suppose, you will tell me that my face won’t freeze that way and I can get sick from not wearing a coat. 

I have started 20 blogs about the last few weeks. But, I can’t seem to get everything organised. So, I’m just going to throw out there where I am. And, oh yeah, I need an assistant.