Thursday, July 9, 2009

... Now What Do I Do?

Just as I was happy that dad was looking a bit better, and that he'd started eating again, we get the news that they only give him another week to live. I have to admit, though it still pains me to hear it... it wasn't a huge shock when the doctor told us. Yes, he IS looking better and he's in amazing spirits, but other things -- such as his not eating -- is what is making him go down, and fast. If I don't go to feed him every day around noon, he won't eat. He didn't want to eat today, because the food made him nauseous but I got him to eat a little bit. It was only fruit, but it was something. I wrote a couple of days ago about how he was almost as thin as I am... now he's even thinner than I am. I can't help but tear up every time I see him because he looks so small.

It's so bizarre and, to be quite honest, depressing to see my father so fragile. This is a man who had always shown a physical and emotional strength unlike anything I've ever seen. The only times I'd ever seen him down were when both of my grandparents (his parents) died and when he was doing chemotherapy in 2002 and 2008. Even then, he still had a strength in him; a fire his eyes. Today, I can't even see that anymore. He's still fighting but that spark keeps dimming as each day passes. It's painful to watch him waste away like that. At this point, I just want him to stop suffering. I've spent the entire day today in tears because it hurts me to see him suffer.

It's funny... I never had the easiest relationship with him. For those who personally know me, and have known me for a long time, know what I'm talking about. Communication wasn't great and was something I worked very hard to repair. My father always hid his emotions very well. He was stubborn and had a temper. I spent many hours and hours upset with him over how he treated us. I never went through a rebellious stage, and I am often told it surprises people that I didn't considering everything I went through. I'll be honest and say I hid some things in order to maintain the peace with him, but nothing bad, I promise. Despite all of that, I love him very much and I actually miss everything I went through because I at least had him healthy and here, at home, with me. I miss him being mad at me over the smallest things. I miss him lecturing me on things he felt I did wrong. I miss his little rants. He's the complete opposite now. He's emotional and is very vocal about his feelings. He's asked forgiveness for everything he's done. He tells me every day, multiple times a day, that he loves me and appreciates everything I've done for him. I tell him that he doesn't need to thank me; I've done it because I wanted to and not because I felt obligated to. He calls me "mi bebita" (my baby girl) in Spanish whenever he addresses me. It's becoming increasingly hard to not turn into sobbing mess in front of him.

I feel like I no longer know what to do for him. Going to see him every day, to make sure he eats and that he's being treated well, it doesn't seem like much anymore. I often stop and think "Now what do I do?" I do all I can but it never seems enough... at least not to me. I wish I could nurse him myself (though I would never make it as a nurse or doctor with my dislike of needles and blood.) Praying helps... but I still feel useless at times. I'm running out of ideas of what to do. I got him back to the Church and he's now in good standing, receiving the Eucharist when they send a Eucharistic minister from my parish to the convalescent hospital. In fact, the last time he received the Eucharist was this past Tuesday. I've had Masses offered up for him. I've done novenas, Rosaries, prayers, etc. I don't know what else I can do. I feel somewhat helpless. I love him so much and don't want to see him in the state he's in, but I don't quite seem to know how to let it out or what to do.

Despite being in this situation, and having this constant heavy feeling over me, I have a lot of love in my heart. Honestly, I feel like it even overflows. I'm not angry at anyone for what is happening. I do feel sad, but the love overpowers it. That's one thing that I'm grateful for, besides being able to stay as optimistic as I have thus far. I love my father, and mother, for everything I've been given -- especially life. I know they've made many sacrifices for me. I love my brothers and sister, and the rest of my family, for protecting me in any way they could. I love my friends for being there for me through thick and thin. I love God for giving me the people that have been in my life. I especially love Him for allowing me to have my father for as long as I have. I love Our Blessed Mother for always making me feel like she's there for me, even if she's not physically there and I can't hear or see her. It makes me sad that sometimes I feel like no one wants me to express that love. Most of the family just wants to dwell on the negative. Signs of affection are rare, which is difficult for someone (like me) who is big on hugs. It seems like everyone is so afraid to even give me a hug, or to even ask how I'm doing, because it'll make me fall apart, but it won't. It'll only make me feel better.

I'm honestly stuck. I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but I just no longer know what to do with myself. If anyone has any suggestions, please send them my way before I go completely nutty. I think that's enough unloading for now. I'm sorry if I've bummed some of you out -- I just needed to get it out of my system. This is something I can't keep bottled up anymore; it's just not healthy to. I'm going to go try to figure out something to do with the rest of my day.

In case I don't get a chance to write before Sunday: for those of you who told me you were interested in coming to Sunday's 9 a.m. Mass, which is being offered up for dad's health, please contact me soon so I can give you the directions. Also, for those who have asked if they could stop by to say a quick hello to dad after Mass, please let me know so I can figure out how many people we can get in. :)

As always, thank you for reading and for your continued prayers! God Bless!


Clare Marie-Therese Duroc said...

Dearie, continued prayers for you, your father, and your whole family. God keep you all.

PartyGurle said...

Emmy, don't ever feel like what you are doing doesn't seem like much anymore. It may seem that way to you, but it really isn't. Just remember that God is everywhere and you take care of him as you are taking care of your father...know what I'm trying to say?
You're a very strong person. I could not imagine having to experience with my father what you are experiencing with yours...
Continued prayers for you both...

Kathryn said...

I am so sorry girl! But they have said this before and he has made it through so there is still hope! I totally understand you having to get this all out on here, and I admire how you have handled it all. It takes a strong woman...

I will be praying and remember just because you may feel God isn't listening doesn't mean He isn't. Everything is in His timing and in His plan!

"Be strong and of a good courage, fear not nor be afraid... for the Lord thy God he it is that doth go with thee, he will not fail thee nor forsake thee." Deut. 31:6

Angela M. said...

Do you pray the Divine Mercy chaplet?

I watched my mom waste away from cancer too - it's very hard. Just keep close to the Lord, go to Adoration if and when you can. And keep crying - your tears are full of stress hormones so let them fall and get it out of your system. If you don't cry now, you will later.

The more we love, the more we hurt - your blog entry is a beautiful testament to your love.

God bless you!

Dan Hughes said...

I was preparing a lesson on the sacraments for an RCIA class and was struggling with how to get the concept of grace across to my students effectively. Our Lord gave me the answer. God's grace, invisible to our senses yet undeniably real and efficacious, is like all the non-verbal things we communicate to another person when we hug them. All of the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist, are like a hug from Jesus!

If there is Eucharistic Adoration available in your area, consider going there. Spend some time in front of any tabernacle. Immerse yourself in His Sacred Heart. Throw yourself into His open arms. Let Him hug you! Give Him all your worries, fears, tears and pain. Receive His Body and Blood as often as you can! More hugs are good!

I'll keep you in my prayers.

P.S. Mary gives great hugs too! :)

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

Dan, what a wonderful image! Yes, it makes sense. I can often feel that hug! And an occasion pat on the hat, to which I do not quite know how to react.

Emmy, sharing with others is the best and most helpful thing you can do. I see that you have built a support system here at your blogsite. That seems to be a God-sent resource for you.

I have fortunately not had to nurse a parent through cancer, but I have had to that for friends -- and that seems so unfair because they died so young. I think you are probably doing more for your father than you think. My friends used to express gratitude for the smallest things. Later, I realized that they truly meant it. When catastrophic illness hits, our values change and the least becomes the most. I know this not only from my friends but also personally since I have raised three handicapped children and am grandmothering another two, one of whom is currently fighting for her life at the tender age of three months.

Hang in there! God has a way of turning bad to good!