Today, one of the kids noted that we had enough chairs to seat the whole family: aunts, uncles, and cousins. I'm not entirely convinced: it's a big family. Still, we've got a lot more chairs in the house now, than we did last week.
I've been going through my father's books. I think we've got the lot here, now. He had several copies of Gibbon's "Fall of the Roman Empire." I was able to reduce it to two: one with an index and my father's notes, the other with quite decent illustrations. I wound up with two "Don Quixote" translations: I've found knowledgeable sources which say that each is a fine translation and the other a waste of paper; and I don't have the time to learn seventeenth-century Spanish, to decide for myself which is the better translation. Now, I'm going through multiple books on Herod, Hannibal, Julius Caesar, and Herodotus. My wife hopes that I'll be willing to part with some of them.
It's a fascinating exercise: I haven't done this much reading and evaluation of his lungs aren't able "literature" in quite a while. It's also rather sad. My father and I have very similar interests, although he's been more informed about Rome, where I've become better versed in some technical subjects.
I doubt that he'll be reading these again. The books aren't "light" reading: figuratively or literally. Some of those books are downright heavy.
My father's mind is still sharp, but he has to work hard to pull oxygen in through his damaged lungs. there isn't all that much left for holding up a weighty tome.
On the other hand, he was able to pull himself up by the 'trapeze' (that cable-and-bar arrangement you see sometimes over hospital beds). Once he got his head up past the head of the bed, something happened and he dropped back.
Problem is, he'd shifted position by then, so his head clipped part of the bed. That's why someone from Hospice called. He's got what the medicos call a 'tear' about the size of a quarter on his head. Hurts like the dickens, I gather, but it's been treated and shouldn't be too much of a problem. Didn't even need stitches or staples.
This isn't the cheeriest time in my life. No complaints: My wife and I got to raise four of our kids, and I'm part of a great family. But my father and I are now dealing with the fact that he's got a "terminal condition," ast a form I signed recently put it.
Clearing out my parent's house, going through my father's books, and doing paperwork to transfer financial responsibility, remind me that my father is getting ready for the end of his life.
It may be weeks, months, or, maybe, years, but soon I won't be able to hear what my father has to say about being a father, dealing with the passing years, ruling families of Ancient Rome, or quack grass.
I'll miss that.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Transitions: Chairs, Books, and a Call from Hospice
Posted by Brian H. Gill at 11:22 PM
Labels: family, father, health, transitions
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I can tell you're really emotional about this. Under normal circumstances you'd never let a sentence like this pass the gates:
"It's a fascinating exercise: I haven't done this much reading and evaluation of his lungs aren't able "literature" in quite a while."
I wish Grandpa was feeling better.
>< Ouch. You're right, I'm emotional about this. Also, it was late. I think I meant to write this:
"It's a fascinating exercise: I haven't done this much reading and evaluation of "literature" in quite a while. It's also rather sad. My father and I have very similar interests, although he's been more informed about Rome, where I've become better versed in some technical subjects."
That "his lungs aren't able" bit was probably a mis-handled deletion from a later paragraph.
And yes, I wish Grandpa was feeling better. Although, considering the circumstances, 'it could be worse.'
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