Location: Colorado, United States

I'm just me: wife to Mike for 9 years, mom to three great kids I can hug and kiss every day and one babe I can't wait to hold in my arms again one day soon. I'm always looking to improve my faith life and be a better wife and mother.

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whiny baby tales

The Mommy is bored...the kids are bored...the Daddy works too much. What's a family to do???

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Friday, November 23, 2007

Being Thankful

It's been a nice holiday weekend so far. Super busy with work through Wednesday...but they are now licensed and officially opening for business on Monday. Zachary will start in a couple of weeks too. I'm excited. Haven't worked for anyone outside my home for 10 years, but things are coming back to me quickly. Helps that my bosses and co workers are awesome.

It's super early in the morning...the time I'd normally be getting up and ready for work. But it's my day off. I have a cold, thanks in part to Haley! But that's really not what is keeping me up. I'm still trying to absorb some news I got on Wednesday.

My Dad is very ill. I could list all his medical conditions, but they're pretty insignificant overall. His cancer is killing him. A lot quicker than we expected. He was officially diagnosed in August and at that time the cancer doctor said 6 months to a year.

Wednesday's test results said 2 weeks.

How do you wrap your mind around that fact? I was on my way to work, had switched shifts with the other receptionist so she could be off early for a concert, when my sister called. I walked into work and just bawled. Scared my poor bosses! Here it is, the first day they are licensed and not quite open for business...after we've been sitting at home waiting for work to start for the last 3 months...and I need to ask for time off. Just don't know when, yet.

That presents a few challenges too. Mike asked if he could get time off (his anniversary date is Valentine's day, so after that day he'll get 2 weeks paid vacation for sure), they basically said if he took it "before" then it would be a bad thing on his work record (very technical mess of info but that's the gist of it). If he asked for time off "after" then he'd get it and I'm pretty sure it would be paid time off. He mentioned something about funeral pay anyway. So, that's one of five people to consider. Micheal finishes his first semester of classes on December 8th. Haley doesn't get Christmas break until December 22nd. I can take a week off (I really do work for amazing people) and for Zachary, we'll have to pay his tuition to keep his spot while we're gone. All that to get all 5 of us on the same page, then there are the actual plans of GOING. Do we fly? Do we drive? When exactly do we go.

Way back in 1990 when my Grandpa Wolfrum was diagnosed with cancer I was 20 and Micheal was 2. I still lived at home but worked full time and had Micheal in daycare. On the night that my Grandpa died, Micheal and I were alone with him (Grandpa went to the Hospice house 3 days before he died) at the Hospice House as it was my Aunt Flo's birthday. My brother and his wife (if memory serves they lived in WY at the time) were in town, my sister was hugely pregnant with my niece Andrea and was in MT, unable to come. My Grandma, parents, Aunt Flo and Uncle Dick had gone out to dinner...and that is when Grandpa took his last breath. I was freaked out, to say the very least. The hospice nurses were wonderful and Grandpa was at peace as he died. Back then no one had cell phones or pagers or any way to be reached if they weren't at I had to wait and wait and wait, for what was probably only 20 minutes but seemed like HOURS for the family to come back to the Hospice house for the news that Grandpa had passed. I remember being completely overwhelmed with grief and hurting so much inside. I had never been alone with a person as they died.

Today I don't remember that grief and emotion nearly as much as I am battling with thoughts rolling around my head. My Daddy is dying. Soon. My Mom will be a widow. My youngest son will never know his Papa.

Something I am going to try to find is the joy our priest talks about when a person dies. The joy we get knowing our loved ones are in Heaven, whole and free of pain and sickness. But how exactly do you find that shred of joy, and hold onto it, during the last days? How do you KNOW everything is working out according to God's plan.

My Dad has always been so strong and full of life. Hot tempered and loving. Grounding me, worse than that, coming to find me hanging out downtown at night with my friends and humiliating me!!! LOL Those memories, me being so "teenage" and stupid, him being the "bad" dad. I am going to treasure those memories! But the humiliation, having your DAD show up when you're hanging out with your friends (granted he was trying to teach me hanging out on the street corner was NOT something I wanted to be known just wasn't something a nice girl did!) I remember getting so very angry at him so many times in my teen years. But mostly I remember loving him so very very much all my life. The last time I saw my dad was July 17. I was in TX visiting and he was in the hospital awaiting his hip surgery. He had a few bad days while I was there but mostly he had good ones. I left him there, with a hug and a kiss and an I love you Dad. More recently I got to talk to him on the phone. He was having a pretty good day, as much as Alzheimer's will allow, but I could still tell he couldn't quite remember. I think the thing I'll keep from that conversation the most was his "I love you too" at the end. It was hard for my Dad to say I love you, even to his own kids. He had a very rough childhood and had a very hard time showing and expressing emotion. But I know he loves me, and for the past year or two at the end of conversations or at the end of visits, he'd always tell me he loved me.

When we were there last October, when we didn't know exactly what was wrong with his back (ended up having a fracture on his spine and had extensive back surgery) but he was doped up on pain killers...which threw the Alzheimer's all out of whack...he talked of my Matthew. I can't wait for Matthew to hug and kiss my Daddy.

I'm feeling so disjointed and I know this reflects it. Bear with me while I try to wrap my mind around all this. I've been living in denial for so long, he looked ok. Sure the Alzheimer's was getting worse and worse, he stopped recognizing my Mom and sister a few weeks back. But the cancer wasn't showing any signs of this. It's hard to be 1200 miles away and wrap your mind around losing a parent.

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posted by Kerry @ 4:58 AM  


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