05 May 2012

I Don't Like This Ride. I Want To Get Off.

To say that the last two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster would be an understatement. Hell, the last two years have been such a ride, but these last few days the ride feels as if it's about to derail if it's on the tracks at all.

I suppose the first screaming, hands-in-the-air downhill rush started with waking up on my birthday, hungover and considering a really bad math equation: martinis + Facebook = bad. Mind you, I didn't get obliterated by any stretch of the imagination. But...

I got my coffee spent a few minutes enjoying the birthday greetings I was reading from friends and family. At the same time I thought to myself, "these people saw your idiotic rant from last night."

Adding to my embarrassment for the foul-mouthed tirade I posted over Papa John's latest alteration to their $10/7-topping pizza deal -- which went up a dollar initially but now robs the customer of two toppings and two bucks -- I felt inexplicably odd and was unhappy that Cameron wouldn't be home for the non-celebration of my day. But those things wouldn't have been the reason for the uneasy feelings I had that day.

The offending reduction in value that sent me into a lunatic tizzy.

I wanted desperately to get some long overdue tasks done both in the office and around the house. My ADD seemed to be on overdrive and I felt as if I was doing nothing more than running in circles, accomplishing nothing. But I did manage to get the air conditioner coils cleaned, upload files for production, confirm delivery of other pieces and finish a bit of accounting. 

In the early afternoon, while in the garden transplanting ornamental grasses, wondering jew and dusty miller, my plans changed drastically. My youngest sister, Tina, called with the news that Daddy had "coded" after coming out of what was to be considered minor surgery for colon cancer, detected extremely early. In fact, we were told there was absolutely no reason for concern let alone a trip home.

Apparently, this heart attack was a big one, and it took somewhere near thirty minutes to resuscitate, leaving him in a coma.
At 24 hours, we were told that the neurologist was going to wait until the 48-hour mark to perform a CT scan to determine the severity of damage his brain no doubt suffered in the time it was starved of oxygen.

Before we could hear the results of that scan, though, he began to leave us.

Since 5:18AM, Saturday, April 28, we have been in shock, angry, sad, confused but at the same time know we must stay motivated to make arrangements for his cremation, memorial and graveside services while taking care of his business. Mowing the lawn, killing weeds, changing locks, sorting files, talking to his neighbors and friends who call or drop by, sorting photos, taking inventory, throwing out expired and sometimes exploded or leaking canned goods, clearing out the freezer, corralling what I think is
around 18 utility knives, myriad flashlights, gallon upon gallon of Pine-Sol and collecting what I think is now around 40 assorted pairs of glasses in sun, reading and God-knows-what varieties is only the beginning.

Daddy, cropped from a family portrait, 1969.

We've had a few laughs with each other trying on those silly glasses, particularly the ones with the lighted temples. I know he must've used them when he was working in a dark environment and couldn't spare a hand for a flashlight. But they're still comical to see. And, we're truly perplexed about the Pine-Sol. I think we've counted more than ten gallons. What on Earth could he be cleaning that he needed an institutional supply of the stuff in original scent and what I've been calling "grape?" (I think Lisa said it was lavender but grape sounds funnier to me).

It's strange learning some things we never knew about the man. Being in his house without him and rifling through his stuff is unsettling at times. I'm grateful for the help we're getting and I have faith that we'll get through this intact.

But, I'm ready to lift the restraint and step off.

1 comment:

annecase said...

David, so sorry for your loss. Thinking about and praying for you all during this difficult time!