I have been at my parents’ house since March 17, when my father called us because his chest pain made him feel he was going to die.
I left my husband and daughter at home and drove the two hours to Tuscaloosa. I didn’t speed more than 79 mph because I knew my ticket or wreck would mean I might miss the chance to see him alive, and also my death in a wreck would be even more useless. Second, Daddy made me promise I wouldn’t.
I kept myself from sobbing (and thence driving dangerously) by reciting all the dialog and scenes from the Witcher in order.
He was alive when I got there, and he is alive now, but not very. It is June 13, so come to think of it, I have been here exactly 4 months.
My husband and daughter joined us a month ago, around my birthday. Somehow they survived 2 months at home alone together without killing each other, which is impressive. My daughter made no significant (or dramatic) suicide attempts, so that is something.
My father does not have COVID. He has fucking everything else, and it is all strange. 10 or so years ago, everything hurt, he lost his balance, and went from hiking to a walker in about a year. He’s had afib but that was kinda treated by rfa 25 years ago. It’s come and gone. His inner ear has made him stagger and fall a lot.
He was sent to the hospital for a heart cath after the March incident, but he coughed once, so some helpful nurse tested him for COVID instead, and they had to wait for results, so he was sent home, and nothing at all was done. His test was negative.
It is just as well they didn’t magically fix his heart. This red lumpy growth on his scalp started a few months ago. At first we thought it was sebaceous cysts, then the dermatologist tried treating him for cellulitis, and then he took another look at more pictures Mom sent him, and guessed, probably rightly, that it was atherosarcoma. He suggested a biopsy, but by that time, he was too weak to put in the car. This cancer strikes one in a million, but without a biopsy, I’m pretty sure the derm is right. The Google images match exactly. My doctor’s gut says it is.
Redness spread around the lumps and now it has moved all across the top of his head and down onto his forehead. There is a new evil lump between his shoulders that sticks out like the horn of a demon. His eyelids are starting to itch. The way he’s slurring his speech and losing his thoughts, it could be damage from the couple of heart attacks I’m pretty sure he’s had, or he could be getting brain mets from the sarcoma.
Either way, he’s dying, and he’s been on home hospice for 2 weeks now, and I’m just fucking hoping his heart gives out before that fucking evil cancer gets somewhere that causes him terrible pain and fear.
He is nearly an infant now. He cannot sit up, he barely rolls over, he has to be fed. I tried to persuade Mom to let his brother talk on speaker to him, and tell him he doesn’t have to say anything, but somehow Mom doesn’t want this done. I think if I were in diapers and dying I would want to hear my favorite brother’s voice again, but what the fuck do I know?
So, we wait. COVID has us trapped anyway. I’d be perfectly happy to stay in a house for the rest of my life, but my daughter is 15 almost, and doesn’t deserve that life. 5 people in one house are beginning to grate. Mom can’t stand my husband. My husband is irritating as fuck, truly, but it’s Aspberger’s and I’m trying to deal with it. My mom is getting on my nerves horribly because she rejects almost any idea I have out of spite and out of hand, and rejects my husband more so. He is only here to help and support me and keep the family together.
I don’t know how long we’ll be here. I don’t know how long we’ll be able to get along. I don’t know how long it will take Daddy to die, but he sure as hell wants to. His dad died in his sleep after going to the state fair, and I sure as shit want to know why my good Daddy has to die like Flowers for Algernon in diapers.
For now, I think my daughter is handling the isolation because she is helping us ride out Daddy’s death, but my fear is that when that finally happens, she will realize it is COVID that has had her trapped all along, and that it is going to last forever.
It is a terrible way to die and I want to lock us in our house forever and live on beef jerky. But my husband and my daughter are going to insist on going out and doing things, and she’s a kid, she should get to, but I sure as fuck don’t want any of us to die horribly. * I * don’t want to die horribly.
I wrote this because I vowed I would do all this art and jewelry and writing while locked up, and instead I have done NOTHING. Nothing because I’m sad. Nothing because I feel sorry for myself. All this time. Wasted.
But I wrote this. If I write quick daily memories in here, I can art journal them later. If I don’t write things down, I won’t remember anything. I think I don’t want to remember anything. I will make myself do it. I have to leave a trace of me. I think I am worth it.