First off, I’d like to say something that anyone who has owned geese already knows. I have found that owning geese is like being surrounded by a bunch of middle schoolers. Geese will find whatever they perceive as a physical imperfection about your body and then literally pick at it repeatedly until you go crazy. That being said, I’m really loving being a goose owner. Living and learning.
Living and learning
I have not seen my father for two weeks. It was not a conscious decision. I never decided not to visit my dad. There has been no concerted effort not to be there. I have never said to myself, “I’m not going to go today.” I have struggled with the guilt of whatever break this is that I’m doing. I can’t explain it. I have thought about why. It is hard to imagine that one could be so selfish after so much time spent day in-day out, monitoring his care. It is impossible to believe that someone could just not be there, especially when he is so close yet so alone. I can’t explain it, but I have tried to figure it out. The easy answer is that I am selfish. (The easiest answer is “Just GO.”)
Ultimately, my heart is completely broken over my dad’s situation. I am buoyed slightly because the neuro consult advised that my dad be placed on Parkinson’s medication, which may actually help my dad’s swallowing and muscle tone. If he responds to the medication, he could potentially be able to swallow successfully, thus be able to finally be able to drink and eat via mouth for the first time since January 12th of this year. This recommendation came after I got back from my trip, and I was able to accompany my dad to the appointment. The doctor said that it would take 1-2 months to take effect. I was disappointed that I didn’t see more of an improvement in my dad after being out of the country. His voice was a little stronger. That was something.
Maybe I am hoping that with some distance, my dad can rely more on himself. He truly relies on me, to the point where he will ask me to do things that I’ve been told by his friends and nursing staff that he does regularly on his own. This is a bad time for tough love, probably. I don’t know. It is hard when you arrive on Fathers’ Day and he asks, “Where have you been?” Or answering his same questions about why he can’t have a hamburger. Or come to our house. I don’t blame him for that, but it is hard. That is the tough, real answer to all of this. I have not been because it is fucking hard. It’s not an excuse. I need to tough it out. It is just really, really hard. It was easier to go back to work. I have completely enjoyed reconnecting with my work friends and all of the animals. The outpouring of welcomes and support has been overwhelming to the point of tears. It is nice to feel almost normal again, and see that I can again be a contributing member of my zoo unit.
I need to get back to see my dad. The strength that I had earlier in the year is in there somewhere.