..and the small step between.
I am waiting. Waiting for a phone call. We know the phone is going to ring and someone is going to say a certain sentence, but we don't know when. So I am waiting.
My dad is dying. His body is riddled with the bastard entity that is known as cancer. It is an entity, growing and eating away at his organs until he can no longer fight it.
I spoke to his staff nurse and checked the four main things;
Is he in pain?
Is he comfortable?
Does he know we're there?
How will 'it' happen?
I don't need to know anything else, they are the most important things.
No, he does not appear to be in pain, but he is on a lot of morphine.
Yes, he is turned regularly, he can acknowledge comfort but he doesn't like the nasal oxygen.
When I was there he opened his eyes, recognised me and smiled. At one point he feebly reached for my hand.....his 'little girl'.
His breathing will just slow.....
This is not my natural father, but he is my stepfather. He met my mother and married her when I was about 9. With my biological father pretty much out of the picture and passing on when I was 17, this man became my dad in all but name. I never called him dad, we agreed it would not be appropriate, but in all senses of the word he was mine. We talked a lot, as I was taking my first faltering steps in adulthood, relationships and work he was the one I confided in.
We visited him yesterday. We live at least a couple of hours away from the hospital, so even if we do get some warning we won't be there in time. And he's slowly slipping away. So I took the chance to visit with him for a bit while he could still acknowledge me, holding his hand, talking to him, comforting him and saying my farewells to my dad....
And now we're waiting, waiting for him to finally admit defeat in his battle.
Update; my dad took that small step and surrendered at 4pm today. He was a good man, despite all his faults.