Trying to Learn to Let Go

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This is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I’ve got to let go of my daddy.

He’s lived through the Great Depression. He’s survived tuberculosis, appendicitis, bladder cancer, raising me and also lived to see 10 great grandchildren. But it looks like he’s done. Every day is a rollercoaster of emotions. My momma is so tired but won’t let me help. I’m so worried and just not sure who to worry about the most — momma, daddy or me.

I’ve been crying for a while now. I just got off the phone with my momma who made it through another hard night with daddy. Yes, we could get hospice. Yes, we could take him to the hospital. But that’s not what he wants. He’s tired. He’s weak. And he wants to be home with momma.

Daddy’s almost 85 years old. He is the rock of the family. He’s the pride of my mother’s life. He is the only one left on his side of the family. His sisters are gone. His brother, mother and father are gone. There’s no one else but momma, me, three grandchildren and the 10 greats. But he’s worn out. Once he weighed 170 pounds. He’s down to 100.

Momma knows. She’s ready to face it — or at least she’s a lot braver than me. I try to be strong for her. I hope she couldn’t hear me crying on the phone. I know it will hit her later. It always does.

“Karen all life comes to an end,” she said. “He’s had a really great life. He’s made it through so much. He stood on his feet cutting hair for 8 to 10 hours a day for 40 years. That takes a toll. He’s just so weak it would be torture to take him to the hospital.”

Who will I be if daddy is gone? Nothing prepares you for this. How will I comfort momma? The only love of her life is fading away. Sixty-four years they’ve been partners in life. They’ve shared it all.

I grieve and I’m ashamed because he is not gone yet. But I know the storm is coming.

I will try to face this the way he wants me to. To cherish all the wonderful times we’ve shared. To remember my faith — his faith. To take care of my momma. To be the person he believes I am.

All I can do is take it one moment at a time . . . one problem at a time . . . one step at a time.

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