AUTHOR: Marty, a.k.a. canape TITLE: Paper thin DATE: 6/08/2008 10:26:00 PM ----- BODY:
My daddy is such a shell of who he used to be. He is so frail. So fragile.

His feelings have always been frail and fragile. He would be wounded if I chose to spend the night at a friend's house instead of staying home with him on a Friday night. Paper thin skin.

Now, his whole being is paper thin. His belt holds up his jeans only because it rests on his hip bones. Kissing his cheek feels like pressing my lips up to a piece of slate. Hugging him means hugging myself too after I have already wrapped your arms around him once.

He says things that are irrelevant. The once lightening quick trial lawyer thought processes have been detoured by disease. It is almost more heartbreaking when he catches himself and tells you to "disregard what I just said." I might rather him not realize it.

Distances and spacial relations are confused. He goes upstairs to bed because he always had before they moved into a ranch. He sometimes still lives in Mississippi or California. It stings my soul when he forgets that I'm too far away to drop by and see him.

His nerves are frayed. Knowing that he must be somewhere at a certain time causes stomach wrenching anxiety. He needs more time. He needs more flexibility. What if he freezes and cannot move for 30 minutes? What if he has an accident after he has gotten dressed? What if he disappoints us by not being ready?

What if he disappoints us by not being who he used to be?

I know this man. He used to be my father. It is a role that I can only help him fill now. I have to concoct situations in which he can still be the father. Ask for advice that I don't really need. Let him help me even though I can do it faster on my own. Make it be that our roles don't feel reversed all of the time.

Even though so much of him is gone, I still know this man. There is so much of him still left in his eyes. In his smile. In his laugh.

He is still, and always will be, my Daddy.

Labels: , ,

----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous No Minimom DATE:Sunday, June 8, 2008 at 11:12:00 PM EDT I can't imagine going through this with a parent. I'm so sorry this disease is doing this to your Daddy. He is very lucky to have such a sweet and supportive daughter like you. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous slouchy DATE:Sunday, June 8, 2008 at 11:26:00 PM EDT sounds so hard. on everyone.

i'm really sorry. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous whymommy DATE:Monday, June 9, 2008 at 12:00:00 AM EDT Yeah. I like your approach, though. I'm glad he's still your Daddy. (Oh, the times I remember! The twinkle in his eyes, the solemn look when he reminded us of curfew, the "Canape..." if Sugar was outside a little too long ... your Daddy is a good one!) ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Bubblewench DATE:Monday, June 9, 2008 at 6:41:00 AM EDT I know it's hard. Our family is going through a similar situation with Alzheimers.

Hugs. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Patience DATE:Monday, June 9, 2008 at 12:35:00 PM EDT Years ago, my father was in the hospital. He couldn't get out of bed, could barely move without help.

During that same time I had been having car trouble, and my car broke down on the way to the hospital to visit him. I had it towed, and walked the rest of the way to the hospital, where I called the mechanic. He said I needed a new alternator. I asked my dad what he thought, did I really need a new alternator or could it be something else. Dad asked me a few questions, then said, yes, the mechanic was probably right.

For that moment, he could be my dad, giving me advice. Helping his daughter. Even though his body was ravaged, his mind still worked. For the first time in a long time, he felt useful, someone needed his advice! I could see it in his face. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Daily Verses DATE:Monday, June 9, 2008 at 3:01:00 PM EDT Hugs, Canape. I imagine it must be heartbreaking. Hang in there, girl. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous Ally DATE:Tuesday, June 10, 2008 at 4:31:00 PM EDT This is so hard and I feel terrible for you. The way that you are honoring him-- pretending to need advice, finding ways to let him continue to be your daddy-- this is beautiful. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR:Anonymous deb DATE:Monday, June 16, 2008 at 12:15:00 PM EDT The disease ravages the body, but you'll always have great memories of your daddy. Someone told me, when it became evident that we wouldn't have my daddy around much longer. Write. Write everyday, every time you have a great memory. I slacked a lot and I've forgotten a lot. But I have a great book about "Uncle Louie" and hopefully you'll have one about your dad, if only in your own record and memory. ----- --------