Posts tagged ‘caregiver’

December 18, 2007

If I could go back in time…

Six years ago around this time… I wrote a poem called “Twas the Night before Christmas”.    I posted it a while back on my poetry blog here:  It sums up a very, very hard time in my life… where I was torn between the intense sorrow of losing my dad, and the great joy of expecting a new son…

I thought about it – as I have a habit of looking back and thinking about what I was doing in past years at this same time.  2001 was a big one.  I realized that lately I have been feeling a bit sorry for myself.  So stressed and busy… until I remembered where I was at this time of the year six years ago.  What I’m dealing with today is NOTHING compared to those days. 

It’s all relative…    isn’t it?

And yet… if I could go back to those stress filled days of uncertaintiy and pain…  I would.  In a heart-beat.  Even though it was so hard losing my Dad….  it would be worth it just to see my Dad again.  I would love to have him around again in any capacity.  But, I know that’s selfish of me… as he was not so happy those days.  He was ready to go. 

Then, I thought… what if, I could go back in time… just briefly… and give myself a message?  Back to 2001 when I was literally at my wits end and didn’t know if I could make it.  I wish I could…  just to ease my worried mind… 

If I could go back… I’d tell my pregnant self… to

Hang in there… that it would be okay… that yes, you will miss your father terribly – but, that life does go on… and that you will never regret being there for him his last days… even though it was sooooo hard. 

I’d tell my pregnant self to

 Play as much gin with Dad as possible…  and don’t take anything he says when he’s in pain or drugged up to heart.. he doesn’t mean it like that.  He loves you more than anything and you know that.  Realize that his giving up on life, is not the same as his giving up on you.  Try to respect and accept his wishes without so much denial and fighting about it.  When things start getting bad… Ask for help BEFORE you are ready to collapse.  Don’t try to be so darn strong when your brothers and husband WANT to be there for you.  Let them help sooner rather than later.  It is good for them too to help.  They also need to do that for themselves, as well as for you and your father. 

And, try not to waste time crying these last days with Dad.  There’s plenty of time for that after he’s gone…  but, try not to do too too much of it then either.  That one day… when he finally leaves your home on a stretcher to go to the hospital is the worst.  Well, almost the worst – the hardest is after he’s really gone from this earth.  That day… when you feel all alone, sitting in that rocking chair in his room…   and you cry out…  and hear your own voice in a way that you never knew you had?  Put your hand on your stomach… and feel that baby… he can hear you… he is crying with you… you are not alone…  try to remember to be strong for him.  And, always remember Dad wouldn’t want that… he hated to see you cry.  He loved you.  You are lucky you had his love all those years.. and you still do.  Remember those feelings.  The feelings of being special… loved… cared about.   You will always be his little girl, and special because of it.  His leaving doesn’t change that.  And, you need to make sure you are taking care of yourself and that beautiful baby boy growing inside of you.  Of course, you already knew that… but, it I thought it might be good to hear it confirmed.  

I’d tell my pregnant self… 

Just wait until you see your new son!   He’s healthy and beautiful.  You made it!  You were strong enough to put him first and it all paid off.   He is strong too….  and, he is your saving grace that will help you to cope with losing Dad – the hardest thing you will ever have to face as of yet in your life.  And this new son… he will love you more than you could ever imagine… and make you happier than you ever believed you could be again.  Between him and your first son – you will know you are a lucky mom and will always have a reason to be thankful and to feel loved.  

Oh, and your unborn son will look JUST like your first son for about 6 months… but, don’t be surprised when he takes a sudden turn – off to find his own looks and personality.  And, WHAT a personality it is.  Just sit back and enjoy the ride! You have MUCH to be thankful for and to look forward to.   

And, if it’s not against any rules or anything…  I’d want to tell Dad before he goes that:

Your newest grandson is going to be a real smart-ass… and, crack people up all the time.   He must have a little bit of his Pa in him!  Don’t worry about never meeting him in person…  I will tell him so much about you that he will feel like he knows you as well as your frst grandson does.  We will, of course, miss you terribly… but, I promise that I will do my best to be happy, to have a good life and to ensure your grandkids do too. 

That is what he wants the most, you know.  Just as that is what you wish for your children the most. 

And… lastly, I’d tell my pregnant self… to

Please try to remember this talk and visit from the future… so that someday… 6 years later when there’s no tragedies going on in your life and all in all everything is all good…. yet somehow you STILL feel stressed out…???  You can remember this visit, go back again if you need to, and mostly try to remember to take your own advice again…   

Relax… and enjoy the ride