Coming out of the storm was nearly as harsh as when it began, and it was an intense storm that gave so little warning.
An ER procedure and then just over 24 hours later, the near death unresponsive low oxygen state, and calling in estranged family – only for the reaction to be tornadic, and not the type you get warning of. Instant and violent – he vented his hate, his fury, his rage on my husband.
Left broken, ice packs, EMS assess and urgings for treatment, my man – the man of the house – sat quietly with his pain.
The storm raged on in the minds and emotions, and then – he’s awake! Low oxygen and 24 hours taking toll, this person is a shell of dad, not the same and great loss of functions suddenly. Distrustful and displeased and confused. The need for aid assist, the need for the estranged to access the life before it is gone, the need for safety for the whole family is now swirling for purchase.
Nursing home – I had told him he could die here. I never ever intended for him to go to a home. Necessity ruled. So the move was set in motion. And the danger assessed, and mental pictures examined and felt.
We left our home and my dad in care of other family. We were too tramatized to remain while the gears of paper spun. Runaways, feeling like strangers exiled. Silence was demanded so that family on hubby’s side was not alerted – no need to retaliate. And this is where I finally hit my knees and cried out to YHVH, this is when I recognized that I owed confession. I hoped for safety.
When access was finally made by the estranged – in the nursing home – we returned to reclaim our safe space.
Immediate needs were to remove dad’s presence, his belongings, his care needs, his treasures from our home. Remove triggers.
Then set in place the handoff – all property now ensconced in one metal clad box, and his instructions stilll loud and clear ‘those things are mine until I am dead’ – we made terms clear on expidited ownership change for the metal box.
Then try to live – the eye of the storm is not calm, it’s subdued. You know the pressure, the lingering eery feel of what’s likely is felt by all. Daily. But not for long.
Then the final. And the estranged and his sister held dad as he died.
Then waiting. Will this trigger? How about that? Which event is likely? Then he is missing… not checked in at home… then he is reported found by an old friend, and close by. Then waiting. And planning a funeral by phone, trying to stay out of sight, and signing and paying and … then remaining home while my dad was recognized and lowered into the ground, video taped for later viewing because view I must – I will need the closure.
Family dysfunction is everywhere. We’re all touched by it in some manner. Sometimes it takes everything you have, your money, your family, your heart, your life… and sometimes it comes out in the open and someone sees through the storm and into the brokenness, sees that a change is required. Change is the only choice you get or it continues.
So we took down the noise makers stationed around the property hastily. We removed the rakes from their bed on the ground, put back the blocks and bricks and pails stationed as trip hazards. We decided to take back sanity, to let go of fear – to tell terror that its time was had.
And we enjoyed a restful shabbat.
We’ll move forward, without relationships past – with better or new or fewer. Those are determined by the participants.
Be the change.