04 May, 2016

Last carriage ride

I dreamed that I was with my Dad last night, and he was very much alive. We were chatting in a hallway somewhere in house in an urban neighborhood. It appeared to be twilight and he was preparing for a trip to Arizona. I don't remember the exact conversation but he was in the process of dividing up (or maybe collecting together) cash that was going into envelopes (or coming out of envelopes) and talking about dying: But this was all definitely happening after his death and cremation so the timeline was out of chronological order. In any case, I woke up feeling peaceful, bordering on happy. And convinced that he will be visiting me whenever I need him. I dressed to take the dog outside and reached for his Columbia polar fleece, the one pictured in this photo, the one I put on the first night after he died. The one with his checkbook in the pocket. There is so much I don't know, that I don't need to know. And yet, one wonders, doesn't one?
I thought he would be so thrilled with this carriage ride in Scottsdale. I planned it as a surprise, but he didn't seem particularly surprised. Enjoyed it, but not especially surprised. At that point in his dying process he wasn't surprised by too much. Even the flat tire earlier in the day wasn't a big deal for him. It was traumatizing for me, but not for him. He just said to pull over and get it fixed. No big deal, happens all the time, while I am stuck back in "how could this happen to me-land" What I will miss, and try to remember, is that he had a different perspective than I did. He liked to have fun, and it didn't take much for to have fun.Didn't really matter if it was Cirque at the Bellagio, or stopping at the 99 cent store on the way home from McDonalds.
This was a day of not knowing if I would see him again and not knowing if I could come back again. When I left him at the Red Mountain Cafe, we cried, couldn't say good-by and I said I would see him again. And I blew it. I trusted the hospice nurse more than him, and more than my intuition. If I had trusted him I would have left on Friday or Saturday or Sunday, or even Monday. But I wouldn't have waited for Tuesday. I would have remembered the Orsorio saying "weeks, not months".  I would have  left immediately instead of stalling. And I tell myself that it has to be about him, so that I can convince myself that he wouldn't have wanted me to see him at the end: weak, vulnerable, and unable to protect me from myself anymore.
He didn't just protect me from my mother and siblings, he protected me from my own self-hatred. He loved me more than I loved myself at times and for that I hope I will always be grateful.

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