Saturday, December 22, 2012
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The rest of this week has been full of changes and yet.. it is "business" as usual. Wednesday Zack went by himself for his Neulasta shot. Knowing he wouldn't be getting transfusion or chemo, he was fine driving there and returning within a couple of hours. His leg is still in pretty bad shape, but it's not hurting too much to drive. Since I have a couple of full days of work before the Holidays it's nice when he can go on his own. He much prefers a break too, from Mom and Dad's "hovering". We continue to wrap his leg with the special gauze they gave us, which is allowing it to heal in a more normal pace.
Thursday, he stayed home and continued working on his schoolwork. His extension is limited to the time school is out, so he needs to finish up. He is frustrated and tired, but works on it nonetheless while complaining the entire time. His mood swings are pretty much up and down, but every now and then he sits down and vents.
Friday morning around 7:30 Zack goes with Drake for labs. If they determine that he needs blood, they will have him stay for transfusions. I was scheduled to go shopping for the morning with Nancy, but offered to take Zack. He tells me "no offense Mom, but I would rather go with Drake." "It's more fun with my friends." How can I argue with that? I have to agree, they have more to talk about and maybe it's less stressful when his friends are there. I am still in bed when Frank comes in and says "Dads gone!" I look at him with disbelief and repeat what he said in question format. He tells me that his Dad was having a hard time breathing the night before and Linda (his wife) had checked on him a couple of times. At one point she had to put the oxygen tube back in his nose and went back to sleep. She was restless, this all seemed too familiar to her. When she awoke a couple of hours later, she found he had passed. We have been waiting for this moment for many years. This man had escaped death many times, his will to live was so strong, even with his quality of life becoming very poor.
I was in such disbelief, I started to cry and Frank came and consoled me reminding me that he is better off. Somehow, even though we know this to be true, it doesn't make it easier. Immediately I am ready to cancel my day with Nancy. Frank won't hear of it. He reminds me that every now and then I need to have some fun. He tells me that it is up to the kids, "there are four of us" to step up and handle whatever needs to be done. It doesn't take me long to be convinced. Being selfish, I knew I needed to have a day out with my dear friend. I called my sisters and brother in -laws and offered my condolences. I then realize that it is possible that someone would post something on Face Book (the worlds new form of immediate communication). so I call and ask my nephew Darrick to tell his parents to let everyone know not to post anything until we have had time to tell Zack. (Frank and I decided it was best to tell him when he returned home). Frank, heading up to Linda's house, tells me to just call him when we are done shopping and he will let me know where they are and what's going on.
Nancy and I meet and once I shake off the guilt of going out, we both agree to "try" and make the best of the day. We arrive at the store and I receive a text from my nephew who says he saw that Tammy posted on FB about Johns passing. Possibly over reacting, I call Tammy (my sister in law, married to John's other son, Mitch) and tell her to IMMEDIATELY take the notice off of Face Book, Zack hasn't been told and I would hate for him to find out while getting his labs. I don't even give her a chance to respond, she says she can't take it off, she put in on through her phone, I tell her to do whatever she must, just take care of it!! It takes about an hour for me to find out from Frank that she removed it and though her feelings were hurt, she understood where I was coming from. Trying to apologize in my own way, I send her an "I love you text", to which she responded the same. It all of a sudden occurred to me that Zack would be driving by the store on his way home. I call Frank, who agrees, it is better to go ahead and tell Zack sooner than later. He is going to find out in the "wrong" way and it is better for us to tell him. I heard from Zack that he is not going to need a blood transfusion so he is on his way back home. I, feeling weird, as him to drop by Target which he does. We meet in the entrance, he is with Drake, who being my "other" son also has grown close to Papaw John. feeling really awkward, Zack says Mom "just tell me, I'm freezing my arse off out here." I tell him that Papaw passed away early in the morning and we didn't find out until he was on his way to the cancer center. He didn't seem shocked and said "I knew it was going to happen sooner than later." Somehow I knew he was being tough, I knew that he would "deal" with his emotions later. He said he was going to go up to see everyone and gave me a hug goodbye.
Finally Nancy and I were able to relax and enjoy the rest of the day. The guilt slowly subsided and I could feel my shoulders relaxing as the tension of the morning left. We spend the rest of the morning finding wonderful Christmas gifts from our lists and after checking in with Frank, we head out to lunch. Zack made it up to Linda's house with Drake and was catching everyone up with his treatments as the kids were helping Linda figure out the funeral arrangements and reviewing all of John's legal documents.
Once we are back I call Frank, who is at the funeral home with Mitch, Shawn and Linda. They are wrapping up the arrangements. They decided to have a memorial service with friends and family and later the spreading of the ashes with family. We pay our last respect to John and within twenty minutes we are back home. Zack had spent most of the day up at Linda's house and now was hanging out at Drakes.
Now, Saturday morning, we all wake up slowly. The condolences are coming in by the droves from so many friends and family. Zack wakes up and immediately takes Frank to pick up his truck at Floyd's, who repaired it. When he returns he is in a bad mood. I ask him if there is anything I can do to help him out. He snaps and says "You know what it is." I tell him that I don't know what it is, there is so much going on I need him to talk to me! He starts to cry and says "it's Papaw." He tells me that even if we all expected him to pass, he is so sad and will miss him very much. Frank comes in and talks about how special Zack was to Papaw. "He loved all of his grand kids equally, but you son are the only one that is going to carry on the Fisher name and he was so proud of that and who you have become." I started to tear up, I hadn't even thought of that! Zack sits up straight and wipes the tears, he is all of a sudden proud.
The rest of the day he spent with Drake. It's so much easier to deal with things when you are with friends, especially at that age. Linda called and told me that she and Zack were teasing about how he found out, "in the middle of Target parking lot" Zack told her, she said I looked at him and reminded him of just whom is mother is. She said they both "agreed" and got a good laugh. I spent the day wrapping the presents purchased yesterday as Frank worked further on his indoor project. His leg is looking better by tonight, he is still walking with a limp, but each day the healing is better,