I’m sorry if my posts are cryptic and even a tad morbid lately. That’s not my usual M.O. But I guess lately it’s where I’ve been living. Today I found out that a good friend’s Father had a fall and has some very bad injuries. He may not live through it. Memories came flooding through my mind of our childhood and the part this man played in my life. We moved in across the street from them when I was still in preschool and my parents still live there. “Ralph” was a very no-nonsense guy, told it like it was. He never wanted anyone to make a fuss over him, but he would always make sure you had whatever you needed. He wanted everyone to enjoy themselves. I vaguely remember him offering me a beer from his garage refrigerator once when I was maybe in 8th grade. I declined, of course, as I just knew I wasn’t supposed to. As I got older, “Ralph” was involved in many good memories. There was a canoe trip one year where we drank from sun-up to sundown, eating steak for breakfast and steak for dinner. We played chicken in the canoes and he lost his wedding ring somewhere on the river. There were the times at a local bar where we’d all dance and drink the night away, and he would always buy for everyone and make sure everyone had a drink in their hand. Good memories. But now, he’s in the hospital. On a ventilator. My friend and his family sitting by his bedside, waiting. I can’t imagine the pain they are all in.
My own father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s a few years ago. I thought it was lucky that he wasn’t diagnosed until he was in his 70’s. For the most part it didn’t slow him down too much. Until this past year, he was able to shower, get dressed, and the normal day to day activities on his own. This year has been different though. He now can barely stand, walk to the bathroom, and cannot shower. The progression of this disease is rapid at times. Dad is tired. Tired of doctors and pills and having to pee too much and not being able to sleep enough. I can tell he feels trapped inside his own body at times. It breaks my heart. But I want him to know I love him just the same as I ever did. I kind of feel like I did when I was younger and he attempted suicide – that I need him to know more than ever how much I need him and love him and want him around. How important he is to me.
Too often I am stoic, show no outward enthusiasm, and don’t let the people I love know how I feel about them. I’m going to try to be better at that. Because it’s important. Because they need to know. Even if it’s weird. I’ll be weird. I would think people would be used to that from me by now. If not, they will get used to it.
To you, my devoted and faithful reader, I appreciate you. You matter. I care about you. And I’m glad you’re here. If you ever want to reach out, drop me an email or a comment. There doesn’t have to be a reason. Just say hi. Tell me what you’re struggling with. Tell me what gives you joy. Favorite songs. Favorite movies. All of it. I want to hear it all. Because we’re better together. And we need to remind each other of that.
Go forth and love those around you! Make it weird! Make people wonder what’s gotten into you. Then tell me your stories of how it went! I’m serious. Go!