Sunday, July 15, 2007

Life Continues...

I guess it's time to give an update for those readers who, like me, worry...and more importantly, care.

Of course I could've written in here during the week but I did not want to read my words after; I couldn't truly convey what I was feeling, what I was hearing, what I was seeing and what I was knowing. Capturing those feelings, thoughts, sights and sounds truly hurts.

We got through our family "simcha" last weekend, but the absence of my father was heavily felt by all -- friends and family from near and far who attended the bar mitzvah or who couldn't attend but heard the news; even my brother's rabbi, who has met my father many times over the years, felt heart-heavy that he wasn't there but was lying in a hospital bed.

When I saw my father in hospital throughout the week, he was a changed man. In May, with his hospitalization, he bounced back rather quickly. This time, it wasn't evident. Confusion reigned and the comments that followed clearly showed that; when in bed, he tried to get out all the time. A night sitter was assigned to him, but it did not greatly appease the situation. My mother got phone calls at 1 a.m. and later on a few nights saying that my father was anxious and yelling and disturbing other patients.

When I saw him in the day, he was angry and upset and even delusional, accusing my mother of things, suddenly seemingly being "out of love" with her. He wanted to die, he couldn't take it anymore...the horrible comments went on and on. And there were tears -- from him. From this stoic survivor who has endured so many difficult situations and come through them over and over and over. But to look at him and listen to him this time, I could not think that he could endure yet again.

Was it the meds taking over him, was it the trauma of another seizure taking over him, was it a fall he had on Thursday taking over him? Would this be a permanent state of mind and of body?

When social workers spoke to my mother and I and asked how he'd been before coming in to the hospital last week, and we said he was almost 100%, it was hard to believe the change/the downfall that we were witnessing.

But to bring my father home was the aim.

And we were able to bring him home on Friday afternoon. When I went to see him before Shabbos, he was tired, oh so tired. Tired of his suffering, tired of his pain...perhaps tired of life? It was so difficult for me to get through Shabbos not knowing what was going on in their home; I was continually afraid I'd receive a phone call on Friday night or Saturday. But thank G-d things were not so so bad. Yes, he was tired; yes, he was weak...but once again, he tried to follow his little routines. Perhaps too much, too soon...but he tried. And for that we're grateful.

I don't know what the immediate or distant future holds for my family -- but as my father always says, "One day at a time."

If you can, please continue to daven for a refuah shlema for Yaakov Arieh ben Chaya Malka.