I'm catching a flight home in the morning. They're moving Dad to a hospice tomorrow, which means "nursing home" in a small town like my folks'. I'll be there by Thursday AM, and I'm hoping he's still pretty lucid and that I can have some quality time with him.
The lucky thing about hospice is it never lasts very long. How's that for a horrific statement. I'm learning that times like these make all sorts of improbably awful statements seem reasonable.
I know that most people outlive their parents so this is a common thing. I want to think it's like childbirth. That the next month is the really painful part, and that eventually you forget the pain and remember the good stuff. But almost as bad as the sorrow I'm feeling right now is watching the phantom pain I see when I talk to other people who've gone through this. You can tell who they are. Everyone shows a look of compassion. But people who've done this are, for just a second, a mirror, reliving their own loss for a fleeting moment before they envelop you in a hug. I love them for their kindness and support. And I'm wishing I didn't have to become one of them.