poppa

so got phone call from mum last night, pop is sick and going to die. had a long conversation with my mum about it and everything else, including the phone conversation with Tracy yesterday. had a fucking huge spack attack and cried my tired little eyes away. went to bed without dinner, thankful that the nightmares have ceased, at least for a short while. wasn’t sure how i felt about pop, felt only a few weeks ago that i had to see him, that he was waiting for me, pop has been in nursing care since early 1998, i haven’t seen him since then, i told myself that i shouldn’t see him, that i should only ever remember him the way he was, the strong robust man that i would look up to, stern and proud. i felt guilty for not seeing him, for pretending that he was no longer with me, but was afraid of how i would feel and of what would change in me if i saw him. when my nanna died in 1991 i fell to pieces, for years i felt guilt, i missed her, at the time i was about 11 yrs old, my world came crashing down, i had never lost anyone, and was old enough to feel the loss but too young to understand her illness and why. i watched pop disintegrate before my eyes, his sadness and suffering, i watched him destroy himself when she passed. within years he began to lose his mind, his memories, his pride. eventually he had to be hospitalised and now he is well basically a vegetable, he doesn’t know any of us, can’t feed himself, talk, walk, anything, he is literally comatose, he lay in his bed today, foetal, on the brief occasion when he could open his eyes there was only emptiness, gasping for breath, and moaning for the pain to stop, he is about my size in weight, barely a shadow of what i recall, as i walked into the room, at first glance it was hard to recognise him, was as if he wasn’t there, but as i sat next to him and studied his features i could see him peeping through, such beautiful folds of skin, broken veins and a roughness i was afraid to touch, i sat there unable to hold him, kiss him, or offer my hand as comfort, felt ashamed for being so afraid. i arrived at the hospital early this morning and sat with him till early afternoon, my mum and her brother both there, i felt the compulsion to offer him my support, to heal him with my hand, he was soft and fragile, i felt as if the touch of my little finger would break him. he gasped for air, deep breaths widely spaced after each a pause which felt as if he would not return from, each pause an uncomfortable silence and a fear it was his last. i left the hospital, deciding that i should leave, feeling my responsibilities to the office i suppose, but put my hand on his arm and gently kissed his forehead and said goodbye, i don’t know if this will be our last encounter i thought, but i needed to tell you that i love you and i’m thankful.

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