So I've been writing this post for days now, in my mind, as I step outside the house in the mornings and notice the sudden chill. Fall signs. The sky looks different this September. I know why and it's perfectly normal but I don't want to write it.
It's just that each day now when I look at the calendar I understand and feel the urgency of a September lived long and wide awake by the bed of my father who lay so still so still so still...... And I see the covers kick..... smell the third floor bedpans...remember the fatigue and the unspoken knowings of grief that went along with what I really couldn't say to the man in that horizontal bed of confinement. Lies. Lies. All lies.
"Oh, you'll feel better tomorrow, Daddy. The doctor will come in and we'll talk about home."
"Maybe the new medicine will help the swelling...We'll see."
And then by the end of September there was no use making his bed with lies.
He must have felt abandoned. Did he? He finally gave up. The covers stopped kicking. One night they stopped.
I fell asleep in the chair and tried to pretend we were home and that all I had to do was listen to him snore. But that night was a horror. I felt terribly guilty for falling asleep by the bed because I was so tired thinking he would drift off eventually and stop calling out but he never did. He needed me. I needed to sleep. It was a vicious cycle. Maybe, oh, maybe I failed him. I think I failed him. He called another's name. She wasn't there. I couldn't make him understand. I pretended to be the one he wanted. His eyes searched for her. I told him she was there. And then I couldn't fool him anymore. By 3am the horrors began as the morphine coursed through a frustrated man with nothing to do but wait for the next injection and make nightmarish scenarios of stealing away in the trunk of my car and going home.
He just wanted to go home.