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Desert Frogger @BT0731
, 18 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
Back in the summer, I wrote about my father, and recognizing that he was dying. My wife and I scheduled a visit, and we were shocked by how frail he was. We spent four days talking, laughing, and out of sight of my Dad, crying with each other. 1/n
Our visit ended, and we left. Back to work, back to our lives, with a steady stream of phone calls and updates. Stories of doctors' appointments, lab tests, good days and bad crossed the phone lines. Every week, the his voice got weaker, and the calls got shorter. 2/n
Until we finally were left to talk to my stepmother, and hear the exhaustion in her voice. Tentative plans discussed in the summer were put into effect. Visiting nurses were arranged. And my Dad continued to weaken. Until the news we'd been dreading arrived. 3/n
"I've called hospice. It won't be long now." My stepmom's voice sounded so defeated when we talked to her on Thursday of last week. The professionals from hospice stepped in quickly. Arrangements were made, equipment arrived, and prescriptions were ready. 4/n
My cousin is a nurse, and spent time talking to my stepmother about palliative care. I spent a lot of time listening to her talk, and cry, and get ready to let her husband go. They've been married for 35 years. 6/n
"I'm scared I'm going to go to sleep, and when I wake up, he'll be gone." she told me on the phone tonight.And that's exactly what's going to happen. It's beyond our control now. But it doesn't make it easy. She's allowed to be sad. She's allowed to be angry. It's OK.
Meanwhile, our life goes on. Thanksgiving will happen, our family will gather, and we will celebrate. But my phone will be nearby. Because that call is coming very soon. 8/n
Last weekend I officiated as my son took a wife, and was filled with pride and joy. This weekend I am preparing to bury my father. And in between I celebrated 10 years of marriage with a long planned RV getaway. My life continues to roll on. 9/n
But my stepmother is stuck in limbo. We have all of these plans primed to kick in when my Dad passes. Bags are packed, travel plans are made, but we're all just...waiting. 10/n
My wife and I got to speak on the phone with my Dad tonight. He was weak but lucid, and got to hear both of us tell him that we loved him. My father is not having an easy death, and I think he is highly annoyed with how uncomfortable and undignified the whole process is. 11/n
But we're trying to allow him a goid death, surrounded by love and support, while giving him the space to retain his dignity. He is a proud man, wasted by the diseases of old age, and the only people he will allow to see him like this is his wife and the hospice nurses. 12/n
Death comes for us all. My father was lucky enough to see his coming, and is leaving this plane of existence with no truths left unspoken. Not everything is perfect, but I'm ready to step in, shield my stepmother from any family infighting, and give her space to grieve. 13/n
I'm kind of numb, operating in two separate realities. In one, I'm a busy teacher, grading papers and tutoring students. In another I am going through the rituals of death, writing obituaries, thinking about the eulogy, looking at pictures of my Dad from his childhood to now.
And yet, I wouldn't trade this duty for anything. My father raised me to be the man I am, and did everything to give me the morals and ethics I passed on my own son. My own grandson will grow up to be a good man because of lessons I learned from my Dad.
I'll write a longer thread about who my father was after things slow down. Tonight is just about me processing where I am in my own head.

Today I bought some milk at the store and checked the expiration date. "By the time this milk expires, my Dad will be dead." That's...hard.
So goodnight, Twitter. Hug your family. Say "I love you." Because not everyone will be as lucky as me.
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