Thursday, December 14, 2006

Family again

Dear blog readers:
I was hoping that today I'd be posting pictures from Wednesday's belt ceremony. But I wasn't at the ceremony on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, I got a message from my brother in Cleveland that my father was gravely ill and that I needed to come out right away. So I did--I flew out Wednesday morning.

By that time, my mother, who was also in the hospital, was also very ill. Both have pneumonia, which is very threatening in their health conditions (my mother had a severe stroke 4 years ago; my dad has been living with multiple myeloma, a nasty blood-borne cancer that eats away at the bones, for 6 years).

The doctors at both hospitals have requested their living wills.

So today was filled with visits to hospitals and solemn talks with doctors. We discussed hospice care with my dad in a family meeting. "I thought that was for people on death's door," said my dad, whose white blood cell count is drastically low. He never seems to think he's sick. "But dad, you can't take any more of that chemo, Dad," I told him. "It makes you too sick." He drifted off after that (he has occasional lucid moments punctuated by restless sleep). Hospice is moot at this point. Dad's too sick to be moved anywhere.

He wants Mom moved to the hospital where he is.

Mom's condition has worsened, so that's pretty much impossible. The pneumonia has spread to both lungs despite antibiotics and she's on a respirator. "She's very sick," said her doctor. "We'll be able to see in the next day or two if she will even recover."

This isn't a TKD entry, is it. I'm sorry if it's depressing.

But I decided that I would continue to post, when I can. I am a writer, and that's one way I respond to crisis events in my life: I write. It's a way to make sense of events, to tell the story of these days to you.

And it's not as depressing as it sounds. I'm here with my siblings. That's nice. Two of my aunts are here. And whatever happens, my parents will be OK. My father's not afraid of anything, so why should he be afraid of dying? And if they both die, well then they'll finally be together again.

If I stop to consider that loss that I will face--that my siblings and I will face--then it seems overwhelming. It is hard to fathom a world without my parents. Will planets go off their orbits? Will there be some tectonic shift in the earth once they are gone from this world?

So now, I'm not thinking of loss. I manage to go on day to day, hour to hour by just thinking of them, of Mom and Dad, and of these moments I'm having with them.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

TKD Mom, there are no adequate words . . . but I wish you and your parents and siblings blessings, strength and peace.
Kicker Chick

Anonymous said...

I'm praying for you and your family. Stay strong and trust in God's wisdom.

PW said...

Wonderfully stated. You really have a gift.