Tag Archives: Dad

Lows and highs

“I’m so sorry to disturb you,” I said to the woman next to me.

“It’s ok. I wasn’t sleeping, I was just dreaming,” she replied as I stood to slip past her on the Philadelphia-bound train to visit Dad in the hospital.

I smiled. Across the aisle*, her elderly husband was full-on asleep, arms crossed and head bowed. He was older than his wife who had taken the lead in finding seats and then in ensuring his comfort.

Looking at them as a couple, I thought of my mother, fit and strong and ten years younger than my father. Growing up, I never thought of their age difference as a big deal. Now, Dad’s age and health conditions are yielding a lot of heartache.

I’m trying not to equate love with pain and loss. But right now, it’s so very hard. Someday everyone I love will be gone. I too will leave this earth someday. And because I don’t have the crutch of believing in heaven, these feelings are a heavy burden.

Dad’s condition is stable now, but eight days into this hospital stay, we have no sense of when he might be ready to go home. No independence for Dad this July 4th.


Rehoboth

I usually spend Independence Day with a family group in Rehoboth Beach. This year, there was an issue with the house we stay at so even if Dad were healthy, we were not going to be able to spend the holiday there together as is our tradition. Continue reading

We almost lost him. Someday we will.

For the first time, I understood.

Instead of thinking “Daddy, please don’t die. Don’t leave me,” I just wanted him not to suffer. The selfishness of a daughter evaporated.

The doctors had Dad sitting perfectly upright, a mask covering his entire face and forcing air into his lungs. He was sedated, given morphine for pain. When I spoke to him and stroked his hand, Dad  opened his eyes and tried to reassure me.

“Rest, Dad. You need to rest. Don’t worry about me.”

And then I went out into the hospital corridor, nearly biting through my bottom lip as I tried to stifle my sobs.

With Dad during carefree times

With Dad during carefree times

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Greetings from Philadelphia

Hello friends,

My sweet Dad is back in the hospital so I hopped a train south from NYC today (Sunday) for some quality time. Hopefully a medication adjustment for this lousy condition gets him back to well pronto.

I grew up two hours from Philly and have visited plenty, but it’s still completely foreign to me.

Even in the city’s rundown parts, the architecture is breathtaking. Divine Lorraine Hotel is one example. I am fascinated with this building–and apparently I’m not the only one. There’s even a t-shirt.

A deal was recently made to reclaim the building and create apartments. Can you imagine living in this historic building?

More pics via Instagram (which aren’t embedding for me today – apologies):

https://instagram.com/p/30HEsUmMXy/?tagged=divinelorraine

https://instagram.com/p/3oj5Xrnk4d/?tagged=divinelorraine

https://instagram.com/p/3Z1YKMOQfN/?tagged=divinelorraine


I hope you’ll keep Dad in your thoughts. And I hope you’ll be patient with my lack of blog posts right now. I’ll be back on track soon.

Twitter Spotlight: Chris Illuminati

For starters, yes, that’s his real name.

I'm a glasses half full kind of guy

A photo posted by chrisilluminati (@cilluminati) on

Chris Illuminati is an author (books here!), editor, comedian, Post It abuser, ‘permanent roommate’ and dad. However you decide to consume his work, Chris will leave you laughing. He cracks me up and that’s a damn good reason to feature him in this week’s Twitter Spotlight.

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This part of adulthood is The Worst

 

This post was originally entitled “I am nothing but feelings.” You’ll see.Dad dimplesThe phone rang at 10:46 AM on November 17. It was a Monday so I was at work when my parents’ home number flashed on my cell phone, making my heart jump to my throat.

“Hello?” I answered, feeling tense.

It wasn’t Mom, calling to tell me she was taking Dad to the hospital. It was Dad, sounding fine.

I willed myself to breathe again.

Dad said he felt bad for not calling more. He just called to chat.

For years, Dad didn’t know my phone number – seriously – and it drove my mother nuts. She gave him grief about it constantly, writing the number on notepads in the house and entering it into his seldom-used and seldom-seen cell phone. But I always told him the same thing: I know how much you love me.

Still, it’s a surprise when Dad calls. A great surprise. I drop everything for him.

We talked about The Voice, which he absolutely loves. The bromance between Adam and Blake cracks him up. But he has a new favorite now.

Via JustJared and NBC

Dad asked about my cold and told me that he’s feeling good. The last three years have taught me not to take that for granted. Tomorrow is not assured.


Holidays are different now. On Thanksgiving night, I cried in my childhood bedroom thinking ahead to the day when I will no longer have a dad.

I used to save projects for Dad. A necklace that needs fixing. A shelf to be mounted on my apartment wall. He was my own personal McGyver. No challenge was too great for Dad.

But now, Dad is often physically vulnerable. I don’t ask him to do things for me now because I know it would break his heart to say “I can’t. I’m so sorry, Jen.”

My father seems to be fading like an old Polaroid. Sometimes I think about asking if he’s scared. And by scared, I mean about dying. But that’s a door I can’t open. Even thinking and typing the word feels like a betrayal.


Dad spent six days in a hospital two hours’ drive from home last week. His condition, pulmonary hypertension, is very difficult to manage. He has an excellent specialist who does everything you’d want a doctor to do, from calling the house to check in between appointments to visiting my father in the hospital, even though he’s out on vacation.

But getting Dad back on course takes time and tries his patience. He hates the hospital food, and the hospital twin bed and worst of all, the hospital TV that doesn’t offer a guide or menu. Fortunately he loves the nurses (and they love him).

I call a few times each day, trying to encourage and distract him.

“At least The Voice is on tonight, Dad.”

“You’re right, Jen. I can’t wait. It’s good to have something to look forward to.”

“I love you, Dad. So much.”

And then I hang up and cry. I can’t let Dad know how scared I am.


 

December 18 update: Dad was just diagnosed with shingles.