Sunday, November 29, 2009

Crying jag

Being pregnant gives me free license to cry about anything I want to, right? And I do. I tell ya. I cry about the kids being sick, I cry about missing a few hours of sleep, I cry about daddy giving me a dirty look, I cry about having to crawl around on the floor cleaning up after dinner, heck I cry during dinner when the kids are told time and time again not to throw their food on the floor and then look at me innocently and do it again.

Why do they do that? Do they have a death wish? They are playing with a heavily pregnant, tired, mostly insane woman here and they don't see the warning signs?

I tell ya, the radio silence you suddenly experienced shocked me. This week is a rough one for many reasons. Small ones like, no nannies on Thanksgiving and Friday, having to sleep with one child at grandma's house, and the kids all getting sick like dogs the day after we can possibly take them to the doctor's office to do any good resulting in the one day I had a nanny being sacrificed to the gods of urgent care just to be told there is nothing they can do for a cough that is keeping my child awake for hours every night. And large things like my dad.

A year ago, the day before Thanksgiving, my dad decided he was going to die. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June and had been a terribly unhappy patient during the whole process but he was done. He was telling me weakly, in a very dramatic way, that he "just wanted to see the kid's faces one last time...." The very next day.

Yes, I was supposed to pack up my 9 month old triplets, take grandma away from her husband, whom she hadn't seen in 3 months as they were still trying to sell their place in Illinois, find a hotel, tickets and everything else, and get my kids to the hospital before he died. Which, according to him was imminent. Strangely, his oncologist said he had months left. As  long as he continued treatment.

Can I tell you what he objected to and what caused him to stop treatment? A blood transfusion. Now I was later told that for cancer patients it can be a more painful process, but I've had 2 blood transfusions myself and I don't understand how this can be too much compared to chemo. But who knows. The fact of the matter is that he decided to die Thanksgiving weekend. And it was a decision he made and I was to jump to it to accommodate him.

I don't know if I sound unfeeling, harsh, or selfish right now, but it seems to me he could have made a choice that helped both of us more. He might have had a chance in hell of seeing his grandchildren once more or at least me if he could have waited. Taken a few more days of treatment. But he insisted. He was done, he was going home to hospice care and no more of any life saving treatments for him. And it was put on me to say that I could not give him his dying wish. I could not force my mother in law to jump on a plane with me and 3 infants at the drop of a hat for a man who, in theory, didn't have to die right then. Truthfully, I could not force myself.

Dad was always a drama queen. I remember fondly him handing me the keys to the car with the tank on empty and saying 'I hope you make it' when I was 16. I learned later that empty doesn't really mean empty. I also know that he lived for creating drama. This dramatic death was just another moment in life. I could not submit to this emotional sabotage and abuse myself for him this one last time. I told him I'd be there Monday. That was the best I could do, so he knew how fast I could get there.

I bought a ticket for my aunt, his sister, to get out there asap. She arrived to assess the situation and said, yes, he really is dying. I needed to come. She agreed the kids didn't need to come because dad wasn't really aware. I bought the fastest ticket I could to arrive Monday morning. On Saturday night dad was told I'd be there Monday. He died Sunday morning at 6 am.

The anger of having someone play such a game with you is hard to explain to those who haven't been in a screwed up family quite like this one. A lot of people will think he had no choice, or I'm being too hard on him, or even that he spared me. No, he did what he did because he chose to make a point. He couldn't even wait for his only child to get there as fast as she could. It didn't matter that I had 3 infants at home who took precedence. It didn't matter about the impossibility of what he asked me to do. He made his decision and I know why he did it but it still makes me mad.

I'd have liked to say goodbye.

So Thanksgiving will be tainted for a while. And that's frustrating too. It seems the older you get the more days and months and holidays get screwed up by tragic deaths and events in the lives of people around you. Didn't help that a fantastic guy died before Thanksgiving and I had to go to his funeral Friday either. The world has lost enough great people in my opinion. I need a break.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving. I am grateful for what I have, it's just hard to see through the clouds this week. I'm sure next year will be much better.


  1. (((Mira))) I'm so sorry. I can't imagine how hard this all is; I can understand your sadness and your anger towards the timing of your dad's death. I'm sorry you didn't have a chance to say goodbye to him. Allow yourself the clouds and the grief and the sadness and the anger. I think it is better to deal with them, even if it is tears, than to push them aside and pretend they don't exit. I think in the end it will be more healing for you and acceptance.

    hugs to you


  2. It sucks big time to have your Thanksgiving tinged with death yet again, Mira. I can't say I know exactly what you are going through there but I can relate to the anger that comes with dyfunctional parents. Hang tight, girl. This too shall pass.

  3. Kids come before aging parents, regardless. A fact your dad should have known. Maybe he didn't want you to drop everything because he was dying?