Monday, 13 February 2012

False alarm

Sjoerd and I were on our way to string quartet practice this evening, when my phone rang. It was mum. She told me that dad had asked for everyone to come and sit with him. "It's time to let go," he'd said. It was hard to fathom what exactly that meant. Were we okay to have dinner with our string quartet as planned and then return to Noord-Holland to see dad, or was it a right now thing? Would an extra half an hour away matter? Should we rush home immediately? Sjoerd and I had almost arrived at our destination, so we decided to ring the door bell and tell them we'd be off right away... our spectacular Monday evening dinner was waiting for us in the oven—but we left it behind to go and sit with dad.

About forty minutes later we arrived at dad's. The living room was pitch black and deserted, which was unusual. As a matter of fact, all the windows in the front of the house were dark. Galen had heard the front door open so he came down to tell us they were all upstairs with dad. So Sjoerd and I climbed the stairs and joined mum, Maya and Galen in a semi-circle around dad's hospital bed. Dad was sitting up, leaning his head against mum's head. Shortly after we arrived he leaned back and had 'the machine' (the hospital bed) lower him into a lying position. Maya pointed out that I had arrived. Dad turned his head and looked me in the eye, "Hello!" He was glad we'd made it. Dad grabbed my hand and held onto it for a while, repeating, "I'm glad... glad... glad you made it... glad you're all here now... Tasmin broke the record... first time ever..." I don't know what the latter meant.

After a while Galen took dad's hand. "My son," dad said, "my... son." Galen assured dad that he hadn't given up yet, he was still searching for the aikido spirit. He'd still try to follow in dad's footsteps.

A little while later dad got restless. He needed a wee. We all had to leave the room so he could do his business. Mum and Maya stayed to help him. Sjoerd warmed up some food for everyone, and once we were allowed back up we brought the food and ate in dad's room. Dad wanted to sit up again. Then lie back down. Then sit up again... it wasn't looking like he'd be letting go this evening. I went down stairs and made everyone tea, then brought the tea up. Dad was still sitting up, lying down, sitting up... then he wanted drinks. All of them. Ginger ale, milk, water, tomato juice... he drank the lot. But left the tea. Shortly after that he needed another wee. This time he just got out of bed and walked to the bathroom... that doesn't look much like someone who's decided it's time to go.

After dad got back into bed, he was in a lot of pain. A lot. Dad never groaned or moaned when he had a headache, or had surgery... but now the pain is so intense he cringes and winces, sighs, "Ow... owowow..." He wanted more drugs. "Which would you like, dad?" "Drugs! More drugs!" Eventually mum helped him take another 10 mg of oxycodone. It wasn't long until dad wasn't very clear headed any more. He lay down on his side, and snoozed. Galen was the first do decide there wasn't much use waiting for the letting go any more, and went to bed. Sjoerd and I went home a little while later. Maybe dad wants to let go on his own, in the night?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you Tasmin. I don't know what to say. Strength and love to you all.