My father in law, Pop Pop, has been struck down with Pneumonia. He’s spent a couple of nights hanging around the ER in the past 10 days and for Larry and I that is just a scary thing. It’s amazing how much I’ve come to love this man in such a short period of time. He always has a big hug for me, and an Otter Pop, and just makes me feel loved for simply being myself. That is a real gift to receive, let me tell you.
What is surprising for me is that during this time of illness I’ve just found myself distancing myself from the whole incident. I’ve been there in the background, offering help in the ways that would help Larry’s siblings and his Mom, but I’ve not directly approached Pop to check in. I guess even though they now have a handle on it and he’s getting the help he needs medically to overcome it, I still have been in denial. It’s made me realize that this man who I adore won’t be here forever and that just scares the bejesus out of me. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve never had a “father” in my life that I appreciate his presence, his love and support, all the more. It’s also made me realize this is somewhat of a pattern for me.
I have a very dear friend who has Huntington’s disease and we were very close when we were growing up, and still are in my heart, but in reflection over my father in law I’ve realized that I’ve done the same disservice to my very good girlfriend – distanced myself, almost in preparation for the loss. So I only see her on rare occasions, weddings and funerals, and this makes my heart heavy. Here I have the chance to spend time with her, here, now while she’s still amongst us and I’m just throwing that opportunity away because I’m fearing the loss that is to come. What kind of friend, what kind of daughter-in-law, does that make me? Let me tell you, it’s not the kind of person I want to be. I want to be fearless and loyal with those I love. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? So today I’m going to take the steps to right this way of thinking, starting with calling my friend, and visiting with my father-in-law… right now!