Actually, it's been a hard week.
There haven't been many moments in the past week that I haven't felt like I was on the verge of tears. It's always there, hanging right behind my eyelids and stinging to the point that I almost want to leak out a few tears just to get rid of the pressure. As everyone reveled in their Thanksgiving tales of family dysfunction, I did my usual polite nodding and smiling, even letting out a laugh or two just because that's what I do. I'm supposed to be the funny one, the one who can crack a joke at a funeral and have it be entirely appropriate.
So, how was your Thanksgiving? they would ask.
Eh, not so good. And then that infernal burning in my eyes would start.
Isn't there anything that can be done? they would inevitably ask.
No. There's nothing. And then I would return to picking at my food or shuffling papers on my desk. Anything to keep busy, to keep my brain from drowning in misery.
I put in some vacation requests today with EPOD to take some time off between Christmas and New Year's. My plan is to go be with my parents for a few days. EPOD generously mentioned that if I got there and felt like I needed more time, then I can just call and let him know.
You need to do what's best for your dad, you know.
Yes, I know.
How long do you think he has?
I don't know. We don't know. It could be days, weeks, or months. We don't know, and maybe that's the worst part.
Burning. More burning.
Finally, today, I spent most of the day feeling like I could cry at any moment. And of course, in his typical fashion, Cat Door reemerged after a long Thanksgiving trip to visit family.
This week marks the fifth anniversary of his mom's death. They were very close. She was the emotional touchstone of the family. Her death changed him in ways that I can't even describe.
No one gave hugs like my mom, she would hug you for like twenty minutes and it would feel like forever, he told me, choking up.
Does it ever get any easier? I asked.
No. There are times when I'll be listening to the radio and one of her favorite songs will come on and I'll just start to cry. I miss being able to call her and hear her laugh. I miss her every damn day.
Just hearing him and the deep ache in his voice finally made the burning stop. My tears flowed freely for the first time since last week. I sobbed like a little girl and finally after I regained my composure and we finished up the conversation, I went into my room and buried my head in my pillow and just let the fiery tears stream down my face into my pillow.
My sister called a while ago and said that my dad is supposed to go on Friday to have a battery of tests done because his bladder is leaking. I suspect it's related to the cancer, but we won't know for sure until the test results are back.
I'm scared. I know it's going to end, I just can't face my own grief right now. I'm scared of the unknown. I'm scared that he's not going to make it until Christmas.
I hope I'm wrong.