The span of time from Friday September 5th when I bought my ticket to go to Sarasota and see my father and Thursday September 11th when I returned to San Francisco seemed like several long weeks while I was in the midst of it. While I was there I remembered that it's almost been a year since his lung cancer diagnosis which seemed almost impossible. How could I have fit all of that fear and anxiety and sadness and numbness into just 10 months?
The hospice social worker told me it's hard to predict a time line from when home hospice care begins and death. Generally they say that it seems to be a six month period. But sometimes less. But sometimes more. Basically, it's unknown. It's not like I expected an exact date, but the complete vagueness is the antithesis of comforting.
I thought the visit might hold something significant, like an important or meaningful conversation with my father. Instead it was loaded with more drama and fights and frustration - all courtesy of his girlfriend - than I could have possibly imagined. I came home feeling battle-weary and ready to retreat into some alone time in my cozy apartment. Between DVDs of old movies and delicious snacks I've tried to keep the image of my father's thin, frail body from popping up in my mind's eye every 5 minutes.
It's only kind of working.