Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Head Down, Butt in Chair, Hands on Keyboard

Make it all go away.

This is the underlying thought I have in mind nearly every time I sit down to write, recently. The universe has an impeccable sense of timing, no doubt, as my distractions outside my office reached a peak on April First, this year.

The days are longer, which means my output is suffering. For reasons unbeknownst to me, I write better at night. Now nighttime is farther away, so I'm writing less. But I keep plugging away, trying to tamp down my hatred (yes, hatred) of Spring and Summer long enough to get words on the page/screen/whatever.

Make it all go away.

On April first I got an email stating that my father wasn't expected to make it through the night. He'd been rushed to the ER after the home health nurse discovered his heartbeat was erratic and his breathing was insufficient. He's been sick for a long time, but this was the second time in two weeks he'd been taken to the hospital. The diagnosis on top of his COPD was Congestive Heart Failure. He was treated and sent home the same night. Unbelievable.

The end is coming. We've known that for some time. Still, I felt guilty the next day when I sat down to write and allowed myself to feel, you know, good. But I needed it, and I reckon on some level he'd understand (though I'm sure he'd complain. He always does).

The weekend was okay. He couldn't talk on the phone, but he knew I'd called. I took solace in that.

Sunday we talked very briefly. He was too weak to hold the phone, so my brother held it for him.

I got off the phone and cried. Went to spend time with my husband. Came back to my office a while later, and...?

Make it all go away.

Monday morning I woke up to my husband telling me about the earthquake in L'Aquila. That's about four hours away from here. I had no idea how bad it was, though. I spent the morning online, viewing photos, reading the Italian news for more information.

Then I got another email. My father was in the ER again. He'd fallen and hit his head, was disoriented and unclear. My brother was wracked with guilt for not having noticed sooner the bruise on the back of Dad's head.

They admitted Dad to the hospital, finally. I talked with my brother's wife and she told me Dad was perking up - according to the nurse, he was "his old self again - joking and complaining."

Make it all go away.

This morning I find out that my father is joking and laughing, yes. But he thinks he's at work and doesn't know who people are. (He's been retired for nearly twenty years.) He's talking to people who aren't there, and making references to things no-one can see.

He's in Kentucky. I'm in Italy. Do I go there and see if he pulls through again? Do I stay here and wait to see if he dies? Which is the option I choose?

I close the door and cry. I shower and I cry. I feed the cat, and I cry.

I go in my office, sit at my desk...

It just won't go away.


Sela Carsen said...

((((Ms. Menozzi))) No advice, just hugs.

Linda Wolf said...

Sorry you're going through all this. I'm not sure what advice to give I just wanted to post a comment to make you feel a little better.

Kaycee James said...


Missy Lyons said...

Hugs to you.

I wish I could make the bad things go away sometimes. Sometimes we all need a good cry and it's okay.

Shelley Munro said...

Hugs, Ms. Menozzi. I'm so sorry, and my thoughts are with you.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. *Hugs* I've been where you are with both my father and step-father and there is no simple answer. Stay in close touch with your family and talk to them about this. Talk to your husband. It is easier when you are not the only one making the decision. Don't hold your worries and sorrows to yourself. And it's okay to cry.

Stephanie Adkins said...

I'm so sorry. *Hugs* My family is going through the same thing, but with my 15 year old nephew. He was diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy nine years ago, and he's in the final stages of the battle. He could leave us at anytime. :( I hate to hear the phone ring now. It's like constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop. I will miss him terribly, but I also know that when he does leave us, he'll be at peace and he'll be able to walk again. Somehow, that has given me strength and comfort lately. So, I understand how you feel. My thoughts and prayers are with your Dad, you and your family. *HUGS*

Alice Audrey said...

Stop trying to make it all go away. Even if you lose your father, it won't all go away. Even if there are no earth quakes, it won't all go away. The sun will just keep on rising until you hit the point where it rises, but you don't. Only then will it go away, and how will you write then?

Instead, welcome it in. All this pain and churning of life is the grist for your mill. You are supposed to be writing about it. You are supposed to absorb it as the valuable fodder it is, feeling your own emotions and storing them for a day when you will need them for what you are writing.

Right now you are forcing yourself. Maybe a little of that is necessary. But don't try to write against the grain. If you WIP won't accommodate your pain, then open a blank file, and just dump everything into it. I guarantee it will be some of your most powerful work.

I'm already crying for you. Imagine how much you could get me going if you set out to do it.

Alice Audrey said...

It's been a week. How are you now? Hanging in there?