Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Headed to Indiana

Dad has been in the nursing home since Friday. My mom and sister gutted it out on their own, dealing with the incredibly depressing move from the hospital to the "nursing facility." When I spoke to Mom on the phone Friday night, the things she said put my heart through a meat grinder with holes the size of fishing line. I will keep those things private, and for once, let her say something without it being written down here. Suffice it to say that she was in agony. All night I ached for her, and for Dad.

At the very least, I'll be there tomorrow and won't be 1800 miles away anymore. It has been surreal and unnatural to experience this from such distance. I've felt like a greyhound whose gate failed to open when the race began.

What I have noticed from my sister's accounts of the days at the nursing home, is that it's the small details that kill you. It's always the small ones.

The little snack the nurse brings to Dad at 9:00 p.m.: Grape juice and a cookie.

Dad asking (about his room-mate) many times a day "Who's that guy over there in that bed?"

When I was talking to Scott the other night, and spoke the phrase "Dad's room-mate" it was as though I had just scraped my teeth across granite. Everything stopped, and I had yet another cry. His "room-mate" is Mom. Forever. Each small detail needs its own examination, its own little corner of grief. It's a process.

Mom is making the best of it, as she always does. She and my sister are such incredibly strong women that they stun me. They are cut from tempered steel and I seem to have been formed out of Velveeta. But sometimes even Velveeta knows when to buck up.

Small things can make you or break you. There are still many sources of joy. My dad sang a little one-line, off-key song to me on the phone tonight: "How is every little thing going?" I got him to sing it again.


  • At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Love to you and your mom and sister.

  • At 10:33 AM, Blogger Norma said…

    Sending you lots of love

  • At 11:15 AM, Blogger Domhan said…

    Every single assisted-living center, nursing home, and hospital director, nurse, aide, and janitor needs to read your blog.

    Strength to you, your mom, your sister, and your father.

  • At 3:41 PM, Blogger Citlali said…

    many, many hugs for all of you -- and, hey, velveeta is GOOD stuff too... just ask my sister. = ]

  • At 7:14 PM, Blogger Jenni said…

    My heart hurts just reading this. I am sorry, Candy.


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