About Me-email is... grant.go@aol.com

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garden bay, west coast, Canada
persistent digging,never say never

Monday, December 16, 2013

The Final Frontier, Goodbye Dad



(Please read the below post and you will understand why I reposted this episode in my life..December 16th/2013)

Written By grant G



Anger, frustration, love, jealousy, followed by guilt, fear and finally loneliness........

I left humor out for that is the one secret that Dad and I shared exclusively, never cry, never tell, never show your weakness and when all else fails make people laugh, today my laughter rolls down my cheeks in the form of wet salty tears....

My postings have been down because of medical issues, trip after trip to the big smoke where my humour and presence was required, as the only son in the family and mirror image of my father it was of the utmost importance that I show strength, humour and wisdom,.......

The clock, the dreaded clock and pendulum that never stops, middle age malaise, my friend Neil in Maple Ridge battles too, his battle is different but as emotionally challenging as any, Neil cares for his 80 year old mother, an 80 year old mother who is physically healthy as a horse but lives in full blown dementia, she eats lots, her voice is strong, her arm strength and legs are that of a young woman yet her mind is mush, Mavis(Neil`s mom) has about 5 stories she runs, at times she believes she is a little girl looking for her mom, at times she is a bitter angry spinster spewing threats, her favorite story is...She packs up her purse, gets dressed with outside working clothes and states that she is off to the mill to go to work, but only half the time when she plays out that scenario does she put on her pants, hers shoes are on, a heavy coat that hangs down to her knees but absent are her pants, ...So between visiting the hospital in Burnaby all day and returning to Maple Ridge to stay at Neil`s place my mind has been abuzz with too many thoughts about questions with no answers....Mavis, with her English accent is also enamoured with my car, not that it`s fancy or expensive but where I park at Neil`s place his mom can see it from the kitchen window, Mavis several times per day says..."Whose car is that, it`s lovely"...Neil will respond for the hundreth plus time that it`s Grant`s car.....So Saturday past about 12.00 pm midnight Mavis got on her outside working clothes including the long overcoat(absent of pants or underwear) and asked me to drive her to the mill, Neil of course told her for the zillionth time that the mill is closed and she doesn`t work there anymore, Mavis put her back up and was quite firm that I drive her to the mill....It was a perfect spot for some humour, I piped up, .."Mavis, we aren`t going anywhere until you get some pants on, can you imagine, what if I got pulled over at midnight driving around Maple Ridge with my friends 80 year old mother with no pants on, I would probably be jailed".....With that Neil, Lane and Mavis broke out in laughter and we got Mavis to go back to bed.....

A single loose stick or branch is very weak, easily broken, and that`s family, for on our own we are weak, vulnerable but when single branches, even tiny little branches are bundled together the strength is intensified, for as family we can`t survive as lone twigs but together, bundled, connected, as a group the weakest branches become part of the strongest force imaginable, Family....

Several years ago when Neil`s Mother Mavis was entering the world of dementia one of Neil`s brothers through guile(and without any other family members knowing) stole power of attorney from Mavis and quickly proceeded with getting a loan against the house, a line of credit account worth as much as the loan, to this day not one payment was made, the equal line of credit was used to make the payments, now that the line of credit is exhausted nothing but monthly interest is paid on the line of credit, Neil now lives two nightmares, watching a beautiful woman lose her mind while his brother has screwed every family member for his own financial gain, the evil brother never visits, he is merely waiting for Mavis to die to (Legally?) take the rest....For Neil and his family, I don`t believe the single sticks will ever be bundled into a unifying force....

My Dad(with mom at his side) called me from the hospital last week, his message to me was short and oh so sweet, dad said to me...."I`m proud of your writing son, keep your pen to paper, I love you son, goodbye"

Dad was in a lot of pain, I have one sister who couldn`t stop crying, her love for dad is unmatched, another sister was itching for a family fight, a third sister is stuck in the 80s and won`t let spilt milk be cleaned, a fourth sister wants to be mom, she has always played the moderator, and me.... I try to bundle the loose sticks into a unifying force.

I wept after dad said goodbye.

Sunday morning mom(who never left dad`s bedside for days and days, 24/7) called me from dad`s room and said it was close, the end is near, and as I drove to Burnaby hospital again, tears ran from my eyes, twice I had to pull over to wipe my eyes and clear my vision, thoughts, memories, anger, fear and finally loneliness occupied my mind, and then suddenly..... I realized that strength and calm clarity were required not emotions...

I walked into dad`s room, mom was there, dad laying in bed, he was gone, my mom wasn`t crying, she was strong, my mom showed me more courage than I`d thought possible, she made me stronger, my sisters were there, there was no anger in dad`s room, no spilt milk, no ancient history, there was a power of unity that I hadn`t seen for years, my dad was still laying in his bed, what a beautiful sight, he wasn`t in pain anymore, he was his handsome self at rest, for someone aged and gone he was beautiful, I saw every sister and grandchild in my dad, I saw the love and respect, and as my tears stopped a peaceful warm feeling filled my soul, I can`t explain it, for 2 hours in that room there was only love....

And when I left the Burnaby hospital to head home to Garden Bay the strangest thing happened, at a red light at Sunset street and Boundary road, a car pulled up in the left lane, it was a young family of four, the husband driving, two very young kids in the back seat and the wife in the front passenger seat, they had bikes and firewood tied to the roof of their little inexpensive car, the wife in the passenger seat wound her window down and wanted to talk....I obliged, she asked how the bikes and wood were doing on the roof of their car,... I said ...everything looks good...the woman then stated that they were heading to Alice lake for camping and they were so excited....And just before the light changed the sweet woman said to me,....

"Are you ok? you appear to be almost glowing"......I smiled and said...I`m fine, that`s my dad leading me home! The light changed and I drove off....What an odd thing for a complete stranger to say I thought to myself, odd enough that a stranger talks to you at a red light but add in what she said and it was utterly supernatural..... it made me smile...And on this particular Sunday afternoon heading for Horseshoe bay I caught every light green, I drove straight on the ferry with no wait and was parked in the strangest part of a half empty ferry, on a weird angle right next to the elevator, they could never park someone like that unless the ferry was half empty, again it made me smile, the remainder of my trip home was filled with smiling strangers and nice people, Dad definitely gave me his aura to lead me safely home.

Families are like sticks, as individual branches and twigs we are weak and vulnerable...But bundled together we are a life-force, powerful, as one bundled group of branches we return to what we always were....



Family!


Goodbye Dad, see ya soon


P.S....God bless Jack Layton and family too

 http://www.vancouversun.com/health/thought+given+warning+public+height+2012+difficile+crisis/9290001/story.html

Please read the below post and you will understand why I reposted this episode in my life..

The Straight Goods

Cheers Eyes Wide Open

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