copyright 2017 Chris Smith All rights reserved.
"My soul is ripping me open...for freedom."
Some mornings I shot up out of bed, listening for the sounds of unrest in the house. Life was anxious because things were so out of balance. Nothing had settled back into normal yet. If this turned out to be the new normal I was going to be pissed off.
I climbed down the ladder to find Dad in the bathroom, as per his usual routine.
"So, how did it go?" I asked.
"Mom was in pain most of the night," Dad said.
"Damn. Did you get any sleep?"
"Not much. She was very uncomfortable. But she seems to be spitting up less," Dad said.
"So I guess that's something, right?" I asked.
"Yeah, I guess so," Dad said.
"I'm sorry you're not getting much sleep," I said.
"Me too," Dad said.
I walked out towards the kitchen to start getting ready for juice. Mom was having issues with swallowing all her pills these. I pulled all Mom's pills out and mashed up the ones that needed to be crushed with a mortar and pestle. The other pills I emptied out of the vegetable caps into the pile of nutritional supplement goodness. Then we'd pour it into her juice once it was ready. Stir and voilá! Morning liquid breakfast!
Dad came out of the bathroom and turned on his computer system so he could listen to his playlist. Mom loved music. She'd go down to the local weekly concerts every summer. While Dad was making juice, Mom was sitting in bed, tapping her foot along with the music. It was very cutesy.
I made myself useful with morning chores. Trash emptied. Check. Clean toilet. Check. Wipe down counters check. Pull out my pills. Check. Try to remain calm. Check. Prepare yourself for another day. Check. Check.
When the juice was done, Dad divided it up amongst three glasses. Then I came into the kitchen to mix the supplements into Mom's juice. We had bought a box of straws to make it easier for her to drink the juice in bed.
Dad would take their juices out to the living room/bedroom and set them down on the table. Then he'd have Mom grab ahold of him, while he propped up her pillows. She'd wrap her arms around his neck and he'd partially lift her out of bed and scooch her back so she was upright enough to drink the juice. I'd bring my juice with my pills and sit with them while we all drank our juice.
Dad always had stories to tell. Mom would watch him as if he was the most important thing in her universe. I guess in her world, he was.
She loved me. Yes. But I wasn't her universe. I wasn't her partner of decades. I didn't hold her heart in my hand, nor did she have mine.
I watched them, like I would watch life through a glass. The observer. I was there, but it wasn't my life. I was removed. I would never be in their circle of two. There was no space for me there because there wasn't any room between them. Not ever.
They were both beautiful and heartbreaking, in equal parts. No one would see this side of them. No one else would ever be this close to them. I was their only witness.
In between Dad's stories, Mom drank all juice down, which also meant she'd taken all nutritional supplements as well. It was a good day.
Lucy, Mom's Hospice nurse, called and wanted to know how Mom was. She was not happy we weren't using the medications.
"Okay," I heard Dad say on the phone.
"Well?" I asked.
"Lucy wants me to use a suppository on Mom," Dad said.
"You don't think that's going to work do you?"
"Not really. But, who knows. We'll try it. Lucy seems convinced it will work," Dad said.
To Lucy, a suppository was THE ANSWER. Yeah, shove a pill up Mom's ass and that will fix the three weeks of her not being able to shit. Uh huh. Again with the Western Medicine checklist. Whatever.
"She walked me through what to do. So I'll do it and we'll see. It can't hurt Mom," Dad said.
"That's true. And it's not a bunch of meds," I said.
"Exactly," Dad said.
Later that day he put the suppository up Mom's rear end. Lucy had instructed him how to do it and deal with obstructions in the anus. If you met with any obstructions, always gently press to the side, and continue upwards in the anal canal.
I suspected times had indeed changed. Dad's idea of a good time differed quite dramatically with the good old days. These days, it was him, a pair of disposable rubber gloves, and some vaseline on his fingers. These days, he got to play play doctor with Mom. Okay. Maybe not doctor. At least nurse. Or pretty serious medical assistant.
Once the suppository was in, we waited. Mom had a small bowel movement but that was it. So much for the suppository being the answer.
Juice Day 78
4 leaves collard greens
13 beet greens
1 cup napa cabbage
1 tablespoon ginger root
½ cups of fresh pineapple
1 stalk of celery
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A HARD RUN INTO HELL Book 4 (EDITING) is the juice worth the squeeze seriesNon-Fiction
I was standing in Hell, burning. I looked over to see my Dad, standing right next to me. He was burning too. We had brought my Mom home from the hospital and care facility, after being diagnosed with Stage 3 cancer and decided not to do chemo, ag...