Tears well up in my eyes. I fight to keep them from slowly sliding down my cheeks. I try to think of pleasant things. I try to imagine that I am tough, strong and invincible. I am not. I loose the battle. The tear falls quickly. Then one after another in rapid succession. I try to lick them away before they land making a small wet spot soon to become a pool of tears. I wipe my face. I wish I was stronger. I wish I wasn't affected. I wish that words weren't so hurtful. My wishes go unanswered.
I received an email tonight from my father's wife, delivered at 7:13p.m. The subject, "your dad". The content, "Your dad had a stroke. A"
Let me rewind to what has transpired between this last post and the above email. I have attempted to "play nice". I have become the passive listener, no questions, supporter as much as possible in correspondence with his wife. Somehow, I managed to get on her mass phone texting updates as adding me to the email list was too difficult. Clearly, I am not included on much of communication. Blessing in many ways of course but a curse in others. See, not having control or information of a situation is brutal for me. I am left feeling like the abandoned child left cowering in the dark corner waiting for permission to be included. To no longer be shunned. To understand the whys of the punishment and yet thankful for the solace of the lack of torture.
On vacation I happened to receive an "oops" text from A at 4:28a.m. that read, "Oops! Put in wrong area code to X's ph no. Here are phone numbers to contact him to wish him well his rm no. Is good until Thiursday. Please vall him & weish hio. Well. (cell) 1 XXX XXX XXXX (Rm) 1 XXX XXX XXXX. I will be in Fl packing up & he needs all the support he can get now." Her previous text had been sent at 4:40p.m. the afternoon before and had listed the wrong area code for his cell phone he has had for years. As I keep my phone on at night for emergencies, I was not happy to receive the text. I wondered if she had been drinking.
Hours later of no sleep, I texted her the following, "A unless it is mid-day or an emergency, please do not send texts, emails are fine. I do not appreciate general texts at 428a.m. Thank you." Her response, "Did it wake you up? No prob....no more texts to you...." I should have left it at that, but I responded, "Yes it did and I have been up ever since." Which she responded, "Awwwww" That last text was received on April 4, 2011.
I have talked with my father on the phone once since those texts. He told me his LVAD surgery was changed from 4/8 to 4/11. He hoped his wife would be back from Florida by then. His prostate cancer scare was negative.
On 4/11, I called the hospital Social Worker and learned he didn't have surgery. My brother is getting calls and texts from A but I no longer am. I am aware of strained emails between relatives, my brother and A. I am somewhat thankful I am not included in the drama.
On 4/14, A sends out a mass email saying that my father is currently in surgery for a "carotid (sp) artery repaired with a stint". He should be back in his room by 1p.m. with the LVAD to be scheduled in two weeks. I hear nothing until I receive the email:
7:13p.m. Subject "your dad" "Your dad had a stroke. A"
I call my brother and leave a message. I call my aunt and leave a message. I call A and get her voicemail. I call my father's room and a woman answers. I ask for A. The woman says, "This is A." I respond, "Hi A. it is M." She interjects and says, "Your dad is sleeping. I will tell him you called. Good bye." She hangs up the phone.
I cry. I curse. Is this really what it has come to?
I gather myself and with help I find the number for the hospital. I call and am transferred to the Nurse's Station. I ask for information about my father and I am told that he has to give permission for me to speak with a nurse. I am put on hold. I cry more knowing that if SHE has any say, I will learn nothing. I will be told nothing.
To my surprise, the nurse returns quickly and says that he said OK. The nurse tells me that my father's surgery went well. A CAT scan was completed and there was no sign of a stroke; however, his right wrist and hand are showing weakness. The stent is working. His blood sugar is 140. He didn't have 12 biopsies on his prostate that he reported to me on the phone, but the biopsy was negative. The LVAD isn't scheduled yet. There was nothing else to be reported or to inquire. I am given permission to contact the Nurse's station directly with inquires.
My dad is doing better than he was yesterday before the stent, despite some hand weakness. The blood flow is drastically improved.
A managed to text and call my brother. She textedLVAD? Who am I to have these thoughts?
Funerals can be a time to mourn and rejoice the life of a loved one. Funerals are to support and love those left behind. In early November, I said goodbye to my dad. To the shell of the man that still resembles my dad. I see no reason to be at a funeral for HER.
I am breakable. I am weak. I am no longer his little girl. I am a mother. I am a woman. And while I shed tears and struggle with being tough and strong, I am not.
I am tired of shedding tears. I am so very tired...