Years of pain and grief are drawing to a close as my father entered the hospital last night with acute renal failure. His kidneys have ceased to work. With a mixture of sadness and gratitude, I have begun to mourn.
I am grateful that I was with him June 3 to 10, grateful that back in May I heard God saying, Go to L.A., your dad needs you. Grateful that I heard His voice and obeyed. It was a shock to see how he had declined since early March when I was in L.A. because the doctors had decided my mom was too frail to stay alone in the little bungalow at City of Hope where they sequester patients being treated for thyroid cancer with radioactive iodine. We enjoyed our time together in the peaked roof cottage with the little garden out front and giggled like school girls at our inability to keep the rules–stay six feet away apart and wear gloves whenever touching anything the other might touch–to avoid my being contaminated by her radioactivity.
I saw little of my dad that visit, as I was only home a day or two. His shuffle made me suspect Parkinson’s disease. You could head him coming, schurch, schruch, schruch for minutes before he appeared, head forward tortoise-like.
When God said, Your dad needs you. I was surprised. Then I heard from my sister that he was walking around the house wearing only a diaper. Gulp!