Seems like everyone saw it coming but me. I knew he was in pain and had severe leg problems and a host of other ailments but I attributed it to his extra weight…and I knew we were all getting old. I could see it in our faces and in the mirrors. When I looked at my mom, I was aware that I was looking at myself a mere 22 years from now. One one hand it seems a life-time but the days go so fast and the years pass in a blur and before you know it, you’re lost to this world…gone…vanished, never to be seen again. It’s really kinda freaky if you think about it. Someday it will be you.
So when Dennis died I was truly surprised. We’d always envisioned him growing old and being the odd old man who collected stuff and had all those dogs….it wasn’t supposed to happen this way. Alex and I still needed him. Alex needed his Dad and I needed my friend, my partner, the strength that carried me on into the future.
Now I’m stuck in unknown territory without a backup. Alone, trying to do all that needs to be done to help our adult child learn to function in this world. I never thought I’d be facing the future on my own.
Dennis’s brother Kevin has stepped up, seeing the need for help. He was shocked into the reality of the situation when Alex lost-it and took a knife to his belly. They were all superficial wounds but frightening to see and Kevin saw that Alex needed more than what he was getting. Now they have every Wednesday together –something Alex can look forward to and someone he can count on. Alex was used to his father being at his apartment every single day, used to long conversations on the phone and then suddenly that was all gone…..it hasn’t been easy.
Dennis died in Alex’s apartment. I was there when they wheeled him out and I knew then that he was gone. I still talk to him often but it’s more for me than for him ofcourse. I’d like to think he hears me and that he can still see us, that someway he can still help because I still need it. I still need him. I try to be enough but it doesn’t work that way. I can’t be in two places at the same time…Dammit, Dennis –why’d you have to go and leave us here without you? I try to hold it together but I often lose my way because there are things and needs that only a father can fulfill. I’m thankful for his brother as surrogate but it”s not the same. It’s like a substitute teacher without all the background knowledge and experience that is required to help someone with Asperger’s and who is BiPolar and subject to the whims of doctors who prescribe way too much medicine. I don’t know if I trust them. We’re medicating and trying to get through it all and somewhere inside me alarms are sounding but I don’t know who to trust anymore.
I suffer for my loss. I have wonderful memories along with all the nightmares we shared. I can’t get over him. Even if it were just one more day….things would have been different if we could relive those last hours before his passing. That’s the time I want back if nothing else. Things would have been different…he wouldn’t have died so all alone.