Friday, December 11, 2009

Dealing with the Change of people and events.


My Dad has always been a proud man. A Man that did not take any charity or want charity from anyone, especially the kids. My Dad turned 79 the other day. That is pretty good for the family. Reaching seventy years of age was a milestone for anyone in my family. I guess heart disease runs in the family. Cancer runs in my Mom's family as well as diabetes. So if those old people are lucky enough to get past the sixties than it is all bonus from there. We should be glad they are here. We should be willing to over look the crankiness and forgetfulness that sometimes comes with age.

When you think about old people passing on, we think that the Dad goes before the Mom. It's quite a shock when your Mom passes before Dad does. That is what happened in my Dad's case. My Mom was suppose to be the person to carry on, to be our centre, our spine, our care giver. It's funny being forty-nine and still wishing for Mom. :D
It's not that I wish it was my Dad instead of my Mom, but it is strange. You see, my Dad lived life hard. He was a hard working man, a hard drinking man, smoke cigarettes, had car accidents and lived life where he was at risk. My Mom on the other hand, lived an alcohol free life. She worked hard all her life as a janitor. She was the voice of reason, the person we sought out for spiritual answers. Then she went and got cancer. She went very quickly when the cancer was diagnosed.

My Mom was the brakes for my Dad. The one who made the right decisions. The one who made sure kids were looked after. Made sure Grandpa was here for the grandkids. That old man sure counted on that old lady for everything. I try to make sense of things, but that sense sure is hard to find sometimes. People say that everything happens for a reason. I guess. But I think sometimes those reasons are no damn good. :-)

With my Dad's brakes gone he is in new territory. He doesn't have those brakes or that voice of reason behind him, to gently and not so gently steer him in the right direction. Even though my Mom is not around, my Dad has not turned to the drink. He still doesn't even smoke cigarettes. I am very happy for him that he had not taken his grief and loneliness in that direction. He did quit the kind of life he lead with his wife. He no longer fishes, no longer gardens, no longer goes into the bush, no longer is tinkering around the house. He has chosen to spend his time at the Southbeach Casino in BrokenHead Ojibway Nation. That is okay because there is nothing for people do in the Reserve. I guess he likes the noise, the movement, the laughter, the talking with people. It's not like he is locked up in house during the day. My Dad likes to get in his car and drive around. He goes to some of his nephews' houses and turns around in their driveways. He goes to the CareHome and visits. He does a lot of going here and there in the Reserve and into the town. I do worry about the old man, but know that he is lucky. We are lucky that he has his health. It was his active life that has kept him from a wheelchair or a cane.

I am glad that he is around to visit with. Dealing with his new changes has been a test for the kids. He was never one to sit in the casino or to even borrow money from people. With his weekly casino trips he sometimes has to go and pawn some home items. That is strange for him. I guess there are worse things. I know he is the social animal and still likes to tease the women. :D

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