Going Home to Visit with my Family

Tomorrow I’m going home, to spend what could be my last few days with my father. It’s not something I’m really looking forward to.

Last Thursday, dad suffered a stroke, probably a result of his brain cancer. It left him paralyzed on his left side, and with a few less marbles in his sack. On Friday, it was dire — he was near death, it seemed. Today, it’s not quite as bad, but it’s not all that good, either.

Dad’s had a stroke before, one that left him without the use of his left side for a while. But he recovered from that, and had several years without problem. This time, he won’t be so lucky.

He’s down for the count, it looks. Unable to understand what’s happening to him, unaware of people who might be in the room. He seems to be a shadow of the man who took me to the airport two months ago. I’m afraid that what I’ll find at home won’t be the man I know and love. He’ll only look like him. He won’t be him.

I dread going home.

But go I must. This isn’t about me. This is about my family, and keeping it strong through its darkest hour. No-one wants to admit that their parents aren’t invulnerable, that they won’t live forever. No-one wants to admit that death is a reality. I know I don’t.

I can only hope that things will improve. But I think I have assume it’s a hope I cannot cling to.

[Ed.Note: I did not end up leaving the following day, as planned. I went home on the 20th.]