This title applies to both my father and my daughter. We continue to wait on a little chap to enter our lives, while my dad attends one more doctor’s appointment, blood pressure, temperature and oxygen count taken. I write all these figures in my Dad Doc Notes folder, then disseminate the information to all interested parties, adding at the end that Baby Watch 2015 continues. My dad noted twice to the scheduling nurse that by his next monthly appointment, he would be a great-grandfather. The pride and pleasure in his voice were a balm to my ears.
At length I have noted the similarities my dad and daughter have shared over the last nine months. What stands out to me now is the passage of time, not the last thirty-nine weeks, but years and years of all these lives involved. And it’s not merely those with whom I share a genetic marker or three; other folks factor into these equations of three generations, but time spans so much more than Dad’s seventy-plus years, not to mention all the days, weeks, and months my grandson has waiting for him. Well, once he finally tires of where he’s been living since mid-May 2014. Last night he was acting like a career in kick boxing loomed, my poor daughter groaning not from contractions, but due to a wriggling little fish. Or not so little, as the case may be.
At the doc yesterday, my father was weary, looking very much like a man in need of resolution. Home health nurses will now give Mom a hand, but we’re not at a hospice corner. With my daughter, it’s simply a matter of days, and I’m well versed in the stages of labour and birth. With my father, the steps aren’t as clear.
How does one prepare for death, while trying to focus on life? Dad was eager to share of his impending great-grandchild, two of them, I said to the nurse. Yet, a few days ago, as I said goodbye at his house, he quietly noted that he wasn’t so sure just how much longer he could continue; at times the pain is tremendous. The doctor gave my father a second look when Dad spilled just how many painkillers he’d taken before getting to the office. I’m used to these numbers of this, that, and the other, but while the doctor prescribes these medications, does he understand just how my father takes them? Sometimes it’s in staggered amounts that confounds the imagination.
I can’t liken these days to any other previous; all of this is new to every single one of us. But then, that is what life is, regardless of the situation. Sometimes the routine feels familiar, and usually our experiences are to prepare us for what lies ahead. But yesterday was a day solely unto itself, and today will be the same. My youngest daughter’s pregnancy isn’t like that of my eldest, and my father’s path won’t be that of my mom. Which makes each moment one to be treasured. I’m so happy to be here, hanging out with my daughter, anticipating her bundle of joy. And while it pains me to see my dad so altered, I feel privileged to accompany him and Mom to the doc, to visit with them at home, and tomorrow, to give my dad a trim. His hair is getting curly at the ends, and I brought my scissors, drape, and combs. He has a great-grandson to welcome, needs to be looking his very best.
No photographs or blog entries can begin to capture all of these events; they simply have to be savoured one day after another.