Monday, September 3, 2012

That First Night

I finished up the shepherds pie, Daddy inhaled it, his first real food in just over a month. I'm elated, I can see Momma is worrisome, but I am just happy in this moment. My father has retaken his seat at the head of our dinner table, comforting in some way. My brother is missing from this picture, he will be for some time. This fact breaks my heart, to know that he will have such regrets when this tragic part of our lives comes to an even more tragic end. However, I also know that there is nothing I can do to change it, or him. This fact does mean that even more responsibility will fall on my shoulders, Ken helps so much where my brother fails in his family duties, but there are some shortfalls that really only I can attempt to fix. I decide to let myself to continue to enjoy Daddy's first dinner home, rather than dwelling on how much I resent my own little brother.

I forced ice cream into Daddy, he was really too full for it. He was in too much pain to sit up for much longer with us, so I wheeled him to his bedside in the next room. I lifted his legs into bed and tucked him tightly into the sheets and blankets. Then, I cleared the seat next to him and sat down. Before Ken or my Mom could clear the dinner table, Daddy asked me to spend the night in the living room with him. I'd never say no to this request, I knew that me being there in the room made him comfortable enough to really fall asleep. I told Ken, he stayed a while and then went home. Momma eventually went upstairs to sleep, she still only sleeps on her side of the bed, never touches the parts of the bed where Daddy belongs... I stayed up until I knew Daddy was really asleep, and I slipped his CPAP machine mask onto his face. Snuggled up with my "Yogi DaBerra" Yankees Build-A-Bear on the couch and made my nightly bargain with God before I closed my eyes. "Keep him alive, kill his cancer, and I will do all the right I can do in this world, Amen."

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