We were able to sleep in as late as we liked this morning, because we didn’t need to leave the house until noon, and the possibility of me sleeping in that late was very unlikely, especially after Master dropped me off at home early the night before. Master and me got up around the same time, and spent a lot of time in the morning just trying to cram everything we were bringing home back into our luggage. Good thing we brought an extra suitcase!
After I finished eating breakfast, my Dad wanted to show me something. He brought me into the back hall and pointed at probably a hundred jar candles. He’s shown me these before, but I pretend he hasn’t. He takes out a piece of paper and writes $1.00 on it. He points to the candles. I pretend to be excited and say “Wow! That is a good deal, Dad!” We stand there for a bit and my Dad just grins at me a lot, and points to the candles and to the paper again. Damn, this is heart wrenching. Especially considering my Dad used to be the smartest man in the world. Well, he was to me anyway. I hate seeing him reduced to this person who can’t talk or understand things anymore.
After a few minutes he brings me down into the basement. He shows me water he purchased – maybe ten gallons. He writes down on a piece of paper $.25, and we do the same thing we did a few moments ago with the candles. He shows me his freezer, he shows me his ice cream. On the way out of the basement, he picks up a big box of thirty peanut granola bars. I do not even like peanut granola bars, but when he hands them to me – I cannot turn them down. I smile (fighting back tears) and I say “Thank you Dad!”
We go upstairs and Master is eating some cheese and crackers. He looks at me and says “What is THAT?!” I look back at him and say “Please, just help me find a way to pack it. Please.” I think he understands how I couldn’t say no to my Dad, and offers to cram it into his carry on. We are sitting and drinking tea and my Dad comes in with a BIG box of decaffeinated teas for me. He wants me to take them home. Master bundled up to go to the post office and mail $9 or $10 worth of tea home to Colorado. It’s just too hard for me to not accept the teas. It doesn’t matter if it would be cheaper to buy tea in Colorado. Dad wouldn’t understand if I said that I had no room to pack it. :(
The morning was really hard for me, and when we finally wound up at Logan Express, I cried. A lot. I managed to hold it in until I gave the bus driver my ticket, but the tears started coming out after that. My Mom asked if I was OK. I said I was, and I didn’t look backwards at her as I rushed to the bus. I knew if I did I’d cry louder. We got on the bus, and I smiled and sat in my seat. I waved at my parents and constantly wiped away tears. I was devastated. It’s the first time I’ve ever really, really understood my Dad’s aphasia – and I did NOT want to leave him.
I cried the entire way to the airport, and while I was in the terminal I fought back tears a lot. A few slipped out anyway. By the time I got onto the first plane though I was really starting to perk up a bit. Sarumom said something to me that made a lot of sense while we were visiting. She said that we had our own lives, and that it wasn’t up to us to take care of our family which are hundreds of miles away. It’s true. No one has ever told me I had to, but being so far away knowing that my Dad is deteriorating so much is killing me. I adore Colorado, I love mountains, the people, everything. I just wish my family lived closer. Just because they are not my responsibility doesn’t mean that I don’t care how they’re doing, and wish I could visit them more.
One good thing came out of the journey home though (aside from getting back home!). I’m not afraid of flying anymore. It used to be a problem for me, because I didn’t like the feeling of the plane as it ascends and descends. I have spent so much time in planes that week though that I actually fell asleep on the last flight home (which was almost four hours!). At least I now know the only thing to fear about flying now is the TSA.
As it should be. As it should be.