I spent Thursday and Friday in MA visiting with Dad, filling in the nursing home's social worker on his drinking, home situation, mobility, and helping Dad sort through some bills that urgently needed paying (and seeing first hand the disarray his finances are in). I also spoke often with various relatives and friends. Everyone is holding up hope that the stepmonster's death will be the pivitol event to help dad turn around his drinking, improve his health, get his knee replacement, regain his mobility. I feel like Cassandra.
Dad asked the housekeeper (who told me) to hide his booze so I wouldn't throw it away. When I asked directly about his intentions of staying sober, he said he wasn't going to stop drinking. When I pursued it, he said that his doctor would like him to drink less, to not drink every day. I got no indication that Dad was willing to cut back even that much. I found receipts from the local liquor store that indicated deliveries of 1.75 L bottles of gin about once a week, in his and hers brands. His wife is dead and he's not hit bottom yet.
I'm furious, I'm upset, I'm exhausted. I'm shuttling between feeling like I'm neglecting my father, anger at having to deal with all of this, anger at myself for my own financial shortcomings in the face of his financial disarray, self pity for all that has gone before and is yet to come, and resentment that people I neither felt wanted by or safe with (who should have been sources of both) somehow need me to treat them with compassion. And yet, I also get the feeling that Dad wants nothing more from me than to be left alone with his gin.
Fortunately, I was able to take a few days break in New Haven and let Bytchearse glue me back together.
Services and interment for the stepmonster will occur at some point in the spring. As odd as it sounds, their tiny town needs to wait until spring to dig a hole in the ground.
Dad will indeed be strong enough to go back home by the middle of next week. Grief-wise, he's clearly still in denial. I expect it will hit him when he goes home. With the housekeeper stopping in daily, visiting health care aides to continue PT and change the dressings on his legs, meals on wheels, the chair lift, and someone to drive him when he needs to get around his environment is considered acceptable. I expect we'll be rinsing and repeating the drinking-hospital-rehab-home cycle several more times this year.
I'm limiting the amount of time I spend dealing with this per day, and I think I've used up today's allowance.