Monday, April 4, 2011

From an "unneeded" walker to a wheelchair: In just two days...

...Well, at least I think it's been two days?  Has it been two days?  Man.  I have totally lost track.  I feel like I'm on a tilt-a-whirl or something and just want to cry, or throw up, OR get off the damn thing. 

Dad's been having trouble even getting out of his recliner, but the past couple of days have been different.  His legs just won't work anymore and so getting anywhere in the house is almost impossible even with the help of a walker and someone's assistance.  Today while I was with him he wanted to go to the bathroom and so we set out in that direction.  Pretty quickly I realized that, even though I'm a strong girl, this was going to be no easy task.  We got as far as the little bathroom in his hallway and he basically collapsed without actually going down.  Between him clinging to the door jamb, sitting on my knee and me holding him up he was stabalized-ish.  But where do we go from there?  I stood praying someone would come in just at that moment, but they didn't.  I finally used my motherly strength to basically "lift the car off of my child" and got Dad onto the toilet in a bathroom about the size of a closet.  Thankfully we were able, with him holding my shoulders until we got back to the walker, get him safely back to the recliner.  Is this life?

Dad and I talked today about his final wishes.  And, true to himself, it will be a non-conventional celebration.  I asked him where his cremains would be placed...a small cemetary out towards Albany.  When I asked if that's where he wanted to be or if I should take him back to Wisconsin where he grew up and he said "This is my home.  This is where I grew up.  That's where I want to be.  Is that okay?"  Is that okay?  Of course it's okay Dad!  I just want him to be happy.  But I'm not going to say that I'm going to be more than a little devestated when it happens.  Is it weird for me to want a part of him?  To want some of his ashes for myself?  I asked him.  He laughed and said "What the hell would you do with them?!"  Hmmmm...I never thought of the answer to that.  Maybe carry him around in my purse?  I know that's weird, but to think that my dad, with whom I've NEVER gone more than two days of not speaking, won't be right next to me. 

I guess this is where I need to really start exploring something spiritual.  Not necessarily religious, but something that will keep my faith in my dad always walking with me.  Helping me make my decisions.  Smiling and laughing with me about silly things I think only "us Chandlers" get.  I can't even find words for the pain of the inability to be with my dad anytime I would like.



  1. Oh Lili, sending so much love to you and your dad. We buried Keith's dad's ashes and I had later wished that I had kept them, or some of them, or however you do that. There are lockets that you can put stuff in and wear around your neck. Please give your dad an extra big hug from Keith and I. You are doing an amazing job.

  2. Lili - thank you for taking the time to blog about these precious moments with your dad. I wish you all the strength and love I know you already possess. ~ Melissa

  3. Lili,
    You are doing the best you can and that is considered a great and nobel Job well done.

    For me, Faith can come from a collective of souls. Friends, Family, even going to church. Church ain't my thing but the higher power you can get with the ones you love and the ones that love you is as powerful as the "mom lift the car off the kid" thing.
    You know how to find me if you ever need me and please tell your Dad I think of him every day and night.
    He Wil always walk with you, Lili.
    Love Stuart

  4. thank you for sharing Lili. You are going through so much and are such a strong woman. We send you much love. Connie

  5. Lili, you are so awesome...I would tell you to find a "pretty" and keep some ashes for you...not weird at all...I have found my own spirituality and you will too...I have realized that if one believes in "eternal life" then one must work one one's soul during life because that soul/spirit will live on in others...all those people your dad touched through the years and he never may have known it...that, to me, is eternal life. Love, peace and calm. Hugs, Cheryl

  6. Lili,
    I read your blog each day. I have really appreciated your honesty. This is such a difficult heart is with you. I was so so close to my mom. I lost her suddenly in a car accident in 2004. She was my best friend. I have so much to share with you. From ashes to going on in life/carrying them with you. Your dad has given you all you need and more. He WILL be with you for the rest of your life. I mean that. People will see him in you forever. AND it will be ALRIGHT to scream some days. Call anytime you need. I'm here for you. --Stacy
    Also, I've enjoyed your dad's blog too. I haven't missed a single one. He's an amazing person. I miss getting his oatmeal cookie at the bakery. Give him a hug and pick on him a little bit from me. He still needs that. Humor is one of his best qualities.