I have been thinking about this blog post for a while now. But I have hesitated. My own feeling on the subject as still confused. Also because I don’t want my blog to be seen as a “downer”. But the reason I started my own blog was just for these type issues. Real Life. And boy, I was dealing with real life NOW.
I have been changing a lot of diapers lately, not on a cute newborn baby bottom, but an old wrinkly one. My father-in-law no longer has control of his bladder or bowels.
The worst thing is that he knows what is happening. He is still pretty damn sharp for a 96 year old. He asked me last night if I “had ever thought I would be cleaning an old persons butt?” I tried to make a joke of it, asking him not to fart on me…it made him laugh but it did not really cover up the sadness involved.
My father-in-law and I have been talking quite a bit lately. His sitter was sick and my husband and I have been doing sitting duty. He told me “ I am ready to go, I have lived long enough! I am ready to die ” I don’t think he really wanted a response from me. At least I hope not.
I have been re-reading a book called “How We Die”. By Sherwin B. Nuland. It was a National book award winner. I purchased the book about fifteen years ago when my grandmother had Alzheimer’s. We had recently put her into a nursing home and I wanted to learn as much as I could. I wanted to know how long before she died.
It may make me seem heartless but I have to wonder, how long before Ben dies? He is ready to go, and to be perfectly honest so are we. I know how horrible that sounds. Selfish, probably. I do not want to see him to continue to decline. To be embarrassed. To hear him say how thankful he is to have us. It makes me feel ashamed. I don’t feel like I can bare the weight of his gratitude.
Have you thought much about your old age? I have. I have already expressed that I do not want my children to take me home. I do not want them to feel the mixed feelings of love and anger Love and responsibility. I want to be put in a rocking old folks home if possible. What about you?