I’m not even sure how to write this all out.
My father has renal failure. He’s recently been moved to hospice care. Thursday I awoke to an email from one of my brothers with an attachment from the hospice place talking about signs and symptoms of end of life. Not the sort of things I want to picture my father going through.
There’s been talk about what my father’s wishes are in regards to medical care at this point. And also if he wants to be buried or cremated.
Yesterday my mother called and said that since my father served in the military there’s a chance he can get buried in a military cemetery and my mother have a spot next to him. She’s not sure if she wants to do that or not.
Least to say these conversations are going into a direction that while we all have to deal with eventually, I’m.. Well, I don’t know how I feel anymore. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes I can’t feel anything, overwhelmed I bet from all of it. I already had one anxiety attack over all of this.
How badly my father is doing seems to vary. Some days he’s fine, talking, eating, drinking. Other times he may be tired or spitting up food.
At this point I have to save money for a trip up to where my parents are. It’s a 10 hr drive one way. That’s if you load up a map website or a GPS device and plot from Point A to Point B. Counting gas fill ups, rest stops, food stops, and it’s at least 12 hours. And I can’t afford a plane ticket.
I just got some regular mileage maintenance done on my car. Fortunately, it didn’t need anything in addition to that. Now’s a matter of saving money for gas and hotel. Even then, I need to take this trip with my husband. I can’t do long distance driving. It’ll take both of us taking turns to get up there in a day. And taking turns to come back in a day as well.
My husband can only take emergency time off once. I’m having to face the real hard fact that financial wise and time wise, most likely we’ll only be able to make the trip up to my parents once. Which means the only time will be when .. well when the time comes. I can’t go up once, then be told it’s time and have to go back up a month later, or even 3. I can’t afford that. And if anything heaven forbid happens soon, I can’t even drive up because of all the winter storms that hit the area constantly. We have to drive through mountains too. Bad time of year to drive that route, to say the least.
I’ve always been very close to my father. And he’s been very close to me. And my father’s mother was the only grandparent I got to know in my life. And she and I were often compared to each other. I’ve been so close that it was one of the reasons why I kept my last name when I married.
I’m trying to handle all this the best that I can. Do self-care. Continue to go to the gym. Work out my stress. Take time for myself to read a book. Tomorrow I hope to go for a walk in the nice sunny weather before we get several days in a row of nothing but rain. (And when it does rain it seems like nature is echoing my heart.) I try to keep myself busy so my thoughts don’t wander and I get depressed.
And still, this whole thing affects me. I know it has. I’ve been catching small mistakes I make while I work. Probably due to stress, mind wandering. I get tired a lot earlier lately, also due to stress. My health issues are acting up again.
I try not to be hard on myself. I try to remind myself I’m doing all I personally can. I reassure myself that I’m taking steps to start tucking away money for the trip up.
And yet I wish I could afford to fly up there. To hug my father. To talk like we’ve never talked before. To have him tell his stories to me one last time. But the reality is what it is. I can’t afford to do that. So once again I tell myself I’m doing all I can and I have to find a way to make that be enough for me.
It’s all so damn hard. Combined with the stress and pressure of hoping I can save enough money to go up there when it’s time. Otherwise, I’ll miss that too just because I can’t afford to travel. Can’t think of that though. I can only do what I can. I just got to keep hoping I’ll manage all of this somehow.
Sorry if this post rambled. It’s most likely a reflection of my emotional state.