When I come back home, I can feel the sadness overtake me. My wife has taken the death of her mother and the continued care of her father with grace, but I know how sad she is. She has struggled with depression on and off for as long as I have known her. Her way of keeping those demons at bay is to stay busy, go to meetings, read and tend to her garden. I want to see her happy, but realize that is something I can't make happen for her. So we talk and share our thoughts, love each other, and derive comfort in our closeness.
The memorial service for Mom is tomorrow. We have not been able to meet with the Monseigneur yet, as he has been busy with church activities. Hopefully, we will get to meet him before the service tomorrow. I'm a bit unnerved by not knowing him, but have had to let this go and simply trust that all will be okay. We chose beautiful music, green buds of lilies for the altar, and a tall vase of spring flowers for the little table where photos of her will be.
Sadly, Pop continues to decline, and isn't well enough to attend the service. He fell twice last week and now has to be strapped in his wheelchair. He mostly wants to stay in bed. I was thinking about how sad it is that he is spending his last days in anger and depression, not wanting to talk to anyone or be around others. He doesn't talk to my wife, even when she attempts to talk to him. Yet, he can tell the nursing home staff that he wants to go to his room.
Alcoholism truly is a disease of the body, mind and spirit. I hate what the disease does. I hate how it tells a person that he/she is not good enough, fills them with self-centered fear, and isolates them from those who care. Pop hasn't much time left, but seems to want to remain angry and isolating right up to the end. I know that there is nothing that we can do, except tell him we love him. My wife says that she has stopped expecting anything from him. I still have hope, but realize that after all these years, a mere thing like dying is not likely to change his demeanor or way of relating to others.
I realize that his anger and his wanting to be alone are not caused by us. But every time we visit, it is with a heavy heart. Our visits are short and not every day because neither of us wants to spend much time around someone who exudes so much anger.
I am including here the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi which will be part of the memorial service and is also the Eleventh Step prayer that my sponsor and I said together. I hope that I can live these words.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen