When Eric got to the hospital Sunday morning he discovered that Dad had been moved from the INCU! Such a big step and one we had all been waiting and hoping for. He was set up in his own room when I got there. The only tubes left are the feeding tube and the foley catheter. Sunday was kind of a rushed day as we spent the beginning of it at the yearly family cookout at my cousin Lisa's house. Then we rushed home for naps and I went to Providence for a quick visit. Dad was OK on Sunday, but not as good as the day before. We were told that the C-PAP machine they had given him for sleep apnea had kept him up all night and he was mostly just sleep deprived. As a result he wasn't super engaged that day and some of his conversation was pretty confused. It was a little disheartening to see him that way after the great day on Saturday, but we reminded ourselves that there would be ups and downs and took it in stride.
Monday was our last day in Fall River for this trip. Gordon took the kids to the Providence Children's Museum in the morning while I went to the hospital. Dad was sitting up and looked really good again. I could tell immediately that he was having a good day. We talked about a ton of stuff and he signed his name for me on this TDI application. We talked about the home finances I had been taking care of for him. He inquired after bills and payments, making sure I had made them correctly. He said he wanted to talk to a doctor so that he could get started on his rehab. He complained that the hospital was boring and he was ready to get back on track. He seemed totally aware of all that had happened to him and how lucky he was to be with us still. He also seemed eager to get to work so he could get back to his life.
When Mom got there she told him that Grams had passed away while he was in the INCU. It was hard to watch him digest that news. He told me later that he had a feeling something had happened to her. My heart broke for him as I watched him process that it had all happened while he was away from us - that he wasn't part of saying goodbye to her. Grams had been a big part of all of our lives and my Dad was very close to her. It was a running joke in our family that Grams would always tell my Mom (her daughter) how lucky she was to have found a guy as good as my Dad. In her eyes he could do no wrong (sometimes much to my Mom's annoyance!) Granted, none of us have really gotten to grieve for Grams, but Dad is especially far behind here. This news stuck with him though - he told my brother that we had told him when he got there. And later on he gave the news to my brother's girlfriend by phone. Grieving her loss will be a process for all of us, but especially for Dad. I hope that when we are on better footing we can have a special day together to remember her.
It was hard for me to leave the hospital yesterday. I wanted to stay there and just hang out with him. We played some simple card games again. We talked more Star Trek. We laughed about how he categorizes his spending in excel spreadsheets. I asked him what "box" meant and he cracked up. Apparently he started putting $100/month of "fun money" in a box over 20 years ago. Over the years he gave up the physical box aspect of it, but still sets aside "box money" each month in their budget. My Mom didn't even know about this aspect of his accounting. "No wonder you spend hours in that office when you do bills", she said. Ah - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree indeed!
Eventually I had to leave and return to Somerville for Lily's actual first day of school and our lives here. The hardest thing now is feeling torn between Dad and my children. Having him "back" makes me want to just move in to the hospital and hang out with him - enjoying his company and basking in the fact that he is still here and still very much HIM. But I have my own family too - and they need me as well. So it's all about balance.
And just so you don't think Lily and Quinn have been totally neglected during all of this... here are some photos of their weekend. Thankfully they have quite possibly the best Dad ever and he spent all his time caring for them and showing them a good time. I'm very lucky to have such a supportive, hands-on husband during this rough patch. I've had lots of space to do what I need to for Dad and the rest of my family. It's been challenging, but I can't imagine what it would have been like without Gordon's help.