a very special man...

we celebrated papa's birthday yesterday. he is 74. I don't think he looks 74, but I do think he looks tired.

he has been amazing this last year. with mom not able to do the things she used to do he has taken over. laundry, cooking, cleaning and running the household have become his responsibilities. somedays he is proud as a peacock about all he does and somedays he wants to throw in the towel. more than not he wants to throw in the towel.

it makes me sad to think of how much he has had to take on in this last year. he had different plans for their life. mom always treated him like gold. did everything for him. he was a prince and we never let him forget it. thing is he enjoyed it!

I am starting to remember more and more good things about my past and my dad plays a huge role in the good things about my childhood. him and I did a lot of things together as mom was always trying to get me out of her way so that she could get things done. so dad usually had to entertain me.

I remember many bike rides with him. he still has the bike that he rode in the 70's. purple! he taught me how to build things in his workshop. I think it is credit to him that I am not afraid to tackle any household project. he would let me use the table saw, drill and hammer up little boxes. I still have one of those boxes. we spray painted it silver. he let me use the lawn mower, paint the fence and taught me how to drive.

mom would ground me from riding my bike and dad would let me go anyway. I know that she resented our relationship. she always said I loved him more. it's true, I did and I do. it is hard for me to admit that, but it is true.

mom is limited in what she can do and depends on others to help her with practically everything so as far as I can see she is doing fine. she is being well taken care of and we are all trying to make her life as best as possible for her despite her challenges.

dad on the other hand has lost a great deal of weight. he has lost his wife or at least the wife as she was. he is tired, he is cranky, his is sick and I am afraid. I am afraid that I may lose him and it scares me to death.

I need to keep reminding myself that I cannot control what happens nor can I fix everything. I am doing the best I can with what I have and what I know. I will continue to take care of myself and my family. in that order.

it is okay to feel the way that I feel. it is okay to cry when I need to and laugh hard when I do. I am happy with how I am looking at this. putting it all out on the table and looking at it as "life" and not "loss".

because at the end of the day he is still here and I am very fortunate that I have such a special man to call "papa". we still joke around and laugh at the silliest little things. we are trying to talk about our feelings and make decisions based on the reality of the situation. and last night we lit candles and sang "happy birthday" over and over and over. cause seriously I think it is impossible to sing "happy birthday" too many times! we sang and we laughed and celebrated my amazing "papa".

I had a lot of "happy moments" this week, but this was the best. what was yours?


gina said...

What a lovely tribute to your Papa! He sounds like a wonderful person. Watching your parents age is very difficult....I know as I been experiencing this for the last fifteen years. It's so hard for everybody! Be sure he gets some breaks because being a full time caregiver is so stressful...As you know. I love your last paragraph--it's great you can celebrate and find happiness together.

foxysue said...

I think writing about your experience of life helps with the difficult parts and my heart goes out to you. My own father was very precious to me and I have fond memories of our times together!
So here's to many more happy moments with your Papa.

Blessings to you all.

Helen said...

Thanks for such a heartfelt post. My first thoughts too were: is there any way he can get some break time, even for a day? Cherish your relationship and celebrate it as you have. Have a wonderful week!

Suzie Ridler said...

Aging parents is a tough subject, I know. Your dad sounds phenomenal and I adore any man who rides a purple bike. It is his turn to take of your mom and I am sure he is realizing now just how much work she has done for him and for your over your lifetime.

Linda Woods said...

Getting older is so hard. It's hard to deal with our own mortality and to watch others we love deal with theirs. I totally know how you feel and I know you know so just know I am giving you that knowing look :)
You asked for a happy moment:
I was having a string of bad moments and I decided to take a break and read a cool art magazine my dealer sent me and gaze lovingly at my eyelashes and all was right with the world. Ahhhhh. On yeah, I was listening to JBJ while I did that, too.

Anna said...

Happy Birthday to your father. It's great to read you have a wonderful relationship with your father. Growing old is hard for everyone. For us to see our parents older. Make sure your father gets help. Don't want him to get burned out being a full time caregiver. Maybe you can inquire about a home health attendant a few times a week to give your father a break.