I can’t note how many times I wanted to add an entry, titles accumulating on post-it notes and within my gray matter. Yet, no time arrived to satisfy my blog-longing. I’d forgotten how much attention babies require, morning and noon and night. Not that the burrito is an especially fussy sort, but he’s a three and a half week old newborn who doesn’t like being wet, prefers to cuddle on someone’s chest, or to simply be fed. Add the usual household chores, and here I am, finally getting a post written over two weeks since the previous entry.
But more has occurred beyond the needs of one adorable taquito; hospice has been called in for my father. Over the last three weeks Dad’s breathing has become severely compromised, one of the issues which arose when Dad saw his doc on Wednesday. Hospice was on Mom’s list to discuss, but the doc wanted a chest X-ray as well, due to crackles he heard in Dad’s lungs. As we left that appointment, no further ones were made; the oncologist would liaison with hospice as to Dad’s condition, which spoke volumes to me. I’ve been at most of Dad’s oncology appointments over the last three years, once bone cancer entered the picture. Suddenly these quarterly to monthly appointments were over.
That evening, as my bestie cuddled the burrito, I sewed a receiving blanket to a crocheted blanket for my grandchild. I was due to head back to Silicon Valley the next morning, and this little project was the last one for me to complete. My daughter’s abode had been my home for the last five weeks, but now that Dad’s appointment had taken place, it was time for me to let my youngest and her son do their own thing. The atmosphere was festive, although I still needed to write the obligatory email to my siblings about Dad’s news, hospice and a increased dose of morphine topping the list. But before I could write that note, my brother rang, asking if I’d seen Mom’s email. The doc had called her personally with the results of the chest X-ray; Dad has pulmonary vascular congestion. Now his extreme difficulty while breathing made sense. It was also strange, in that probably cancer won’t be what kills my father. It will be the results of COPD.
As I shared this news with those near, I prayed for my parents, that Dad’s pain would be effectively managed by hospice, and that Mom would know God’s peace. Then I went back to attaching the receiving blanket to the crocheted yarn at four-inch intervals. When that was finished, I gave the blanket to my daughter, who admired it with a loving smile. I wrote back to Mom, then sent her email to my husband and beloveds. Then I put away taco leftovers, and started packing for my departure. I was still going home the following morning; I missed my husband, and needed to be back in my own crib at least for a few days.
An hour or so later, when it was just my daughter, the burrito and me, my girl told me how brave I was. I smiled at her, and told her it had nothing to do with bravery; it was that I knew where my father was going, and I’d be with him one of these days. I don’t remember if she was cradling her baby, or maybe that little boy was snug in my arms. By the end of the evening, he’d been passed back and forth between us, not falling asleep until after ten thirty. He only stirred once, around three, then slept until after seven, when this abuela administered one more morning feeding for my sojourn. He’d gotten a bath the night before, light fuzz standing upright on his head. He’s a stoic fellow, but reflexive smiles brighten his face, making me eager for those grins to be factual. I was glad for his timely arrival, but how quickly my father’s health has deteriorated kept flashing through my mind. Our lives are precariously brief, crossing at places we don’t expect. The burrito in my arms yesterday morning won’t know the man who I call Daddy. But there’s also a sweetness, which I ascribe to my faith; one day these two chaps will enjoy a long chat about various topics, sports probably, if one discusses pastimes in heaven. Family history might come up in the conversation, and maybe this time in my family’s collective breaths will be noted; babies arriving, a great-grandfather departing, and all the other accumulated hoo-haa that surrounds these momentous occasions.
But for now, this blogging abuela is taking a sabbatical. More is going on than I can detail, not all of it big and amazing, but some trivial and mundane. I need to buy an iron, as I left mine at my daughter’s. Quilts await my attention (why I need the iron), as well as other baby-related sewing projects. I’ll be making more trips to see the burrito, but those visits will revolve around my father. I’d also like to reacquaint myself with The Hawk, which I perused only for minutes over the last couple of weeks. How many hats can I squish down on my head, oh goodness, too many. The blogging sombrero will be hung up for…. Well, I can’t actually say, although I imagine I’ll dust it off at some point. I’ve tried not blogging in the past, and I’m terrible at it. However at this juncture, there’s so much to do, and not enough words and time to accurately describe the days.
The days are just packed with love and laughter and life. Best I get back to that, while the opportunity remains.