Whose life is this anyway? I went from living my new gay life with a sense of freedom, joy, and fun to caring for my wife who was dying of cancer, caring for my father who is dying of old age, caring for my son who found himself accused of hazing, and working with my siblings to clean up my fathers estate, which is a mess.
My father, at 90 years old, is at the end of his life and can no longer do, what the health care industry calls, “the activities of daily living”. Dad can not walk unassisted; needs to be catheterized to pee; needs someone to wipe him after going to the bathroom; needs help dressing and getting up or down from a chair; needs to be held while he walks so that he does not fall. The last activity of daily living which he still can do is to feed himself, but even that function is rapidly fading. He is sleeping fifteen to eighteen hours a day. The one good thing about this part of his life is that he is not in pain and seems happy.
I remember in college, when I would feel the need for sexual release as an explosion that needed to take place, my destination of choice was the baths. I would arrive driven, nervous, with butterflies in my stomach. My first destination, after paying the fee and getting my towel and locker key, was the bathroom, where my intestines would explode with a complete emptying of my bowels.
Somehow the tradition of thanksgiving, with the abundance of food, plates heaped full of food, a myriad of deserts, and that stuffed slick feeling later, has always seemed to me a very strange tradition. It is not that I do not like all the wonderful foods. Some of my favorite food traditions are at thanksgiving. It is just the abundance and “consuming mass quantities of food” that always seemed over the top to me. Continue reading →
My parents are in their late 80’s and last year my brother and I took over the management and care of two adjacent summer houses in New England. We are renting out the larger house for the first time ever this summer and worked for the last year to get the house de-junked, fixed up, spruced up and ready to rent. After making an enormous investment of time and energy to get the house ready, I wanted to enjoy of the fruits of my labor. I carved out a week in August with my partner, and invited two of our friends to join us for a vacation. My parents are staying in the next house. My sister arrived two days after us to spend a week with my parents. Continue reading →
I felt a level of anxiety, emotional lock down and coolness when I first arrived at my parents summer home. Two adjacent houses in a lovely New England town. I am in one house with my partner and a good friend of mine and his boyfriend. My parents and sister are in the other house.
Watching your parents and family grow old is difficult. My parents are at the age where their health continues to decline. My mother has been the caregiver for both her sister and my father as their health declined. It is not easy to see this slipping away of people that you love.