blog post 5.1.2015.
my father died april 1, 2015. one month today. my niece is getting married today.
the last six months of his life – my mother’s life, my life, my siblings lives – were full of uncertainty: will he begin to bleed and be rushed to the emergency department? will he need platelet transfusions or blood transfusions or both? days that turned into weeks and into months of a life fiercely holding on, and always the uncertainty.
my mother’s life, always organized around his care, his breakfast, lunch, dinner are now endless, slowly moving hours, minutes, seconds.
i asked her yesterday what she misses most. “shopping with him. he drove me wherever i wanted to go. even wanted to drive me to buy a carton of milk. i told him i wanted to walk! but now wish he could still drive me.”
she’s cleaned out his shoes and his jackets. when i suggested it may be too soon, she replied “he’s not coming back, why keep them?”
her life continues. she’s turned the soil in the garden, raked the yard of old leaves, pruned the grape vine. chores she always did by herself, as it had been many years since he was able to it with with her. keeping busy. keeping her routine.
yesterday, she said “she misses him, but is happy he was well taken care of and had his family with him throughout his illness. every day someone was there”. the last month of his life, he refused the hospital food. she would go home, make him soup, hot dogs(!), pasta (his favorite) and bring it back.
days before he died, she was there, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sisters, brothers and all his in-laws. he was never alone and we were all there until his very last breath. this makes her happy.
my niece is getting married today. my father adored her and when she moved to australia, was sad, but supported her spirit of adventure. there she met brendan, and her happiness is evident on her face, especially when she looks at him. today is the first family “festa” (celebration) since my father died and for me, it is full of mixed emotions. it will be strange to not have him there. life continues. we will celebrate. as my father would have insisted (demanded).