Kicked in the teeth

This wasn’t the original post I had scheduled today. I spent Monday afternoon writing a week’s worth of posts and today’s was a reflection on the week I knew I was going to have. A bad one.

And it was.

Early Monday morning, my Gpa died. He was old, in his early 90s, and in failing health for quite a while; he had been in hospice three times since moving to Virginia in 2007. Cancer treatments in the summer of 2009 and a failing heart and liver last year. Every time we thought he was getting ready to go, every time we went to say good-bye, he would pull through. Live another day.

Last week he was diagnosed with pneumonia and put back on hospice and after a couple of days, moved into my parents home. He fell again and they couldn’t have him alone. I assume he would be okay. Live another day. Even with that thought, when we got the call from my mom saying they had started him on Morphine on Saturday night, we decided to go see him the next day. Just in case.

We stayed for several hours, waiting for an indication when he was awake so we could tell him we loved him. I left thinking he would pull through, like he always does. Chris told me to be prepared. I said I would be fine, he was old and in pain. Death is better for him. He’s ready to let go, he’s been ready.

Monday morning, we got the text he had passed. I thought I was okay, I thought I was expecting it, but really I wasn’t. I spent a lot of Monday crying and angry. It filtered throughout my week.

The kids were behaving like lunatics on Tuesday and on Wednesday, after not getting a lot of sleep due to Kinley sleep-crawling, he nearly ripped his tooth out on the facet of the bathtub. Lots of blood sent me spiraling down, questioning my worth as a mother and contemplating where they would be better off. Lots more crying happened and little sleep because I kept seeing his bloody, jacked up mouth when I closed my eyes.

Thursday I woke up, exhausted, prepared to not fight the day in being terrible. Decided to just let it crawl over me and lull me into a comfortable numbness, hopefully away from anxiety.

But then, I read something. I read Kim’s letter to her son. I admired her strength and ability to get up and make cookies with him when all she wanted to do was give up. I looked back at the post I intended for Friday and realized that by allowing that to publish, I’m allowing a little bit of me to give up. And I know that’s not what Kim would want me to do. She would want me to get off my ass and do something. She would want me to kick this shit in the teeth.

So I did. I got up. I played with my kids. I lulled them to naps and laughed during horrible diaper changes. I answered the phone when my husband called instead of ignoring it. I told what I had anticipated as a bad day to shove it, and that, even if we didn’t bathe until late or go to park, it would be a good day. We would open the windows to let the breeze in and we would play with chalk on the back porch.

I told myself Friday would be an even better day, no matter what. That Thursday was a day to build momentum.

And here we are. And there we go.

LivingĀ  another day.

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