Family and Friends of George McCracken

George McCracken is my Father. He's 73 years old. This past September he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. Our family is spread across the country spanning three time zones and this blog is an attempt to create a place where we can all share information. Feel free to post updates from calls home to Ma or whatever related random thoughts you might feel like sharing.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Late night conversations...

I haven’t had any time to write in the past 48 hours. After my trip to VT Wednesday I had car trouble yesterday and a lot of work to do. Plus we have a costume party for the whole family tonight. So here is a late update.

I spent a great night Wednesday with Dad. I left work around 4:00PM and went straight to VT. Dad looked a lot better than he had over the weekend. He seemed much stronger and less wobbly on his feet. He was able to stand up without shaking as he was before.

This set the stage for the miracle that was to come later on that night. There have been few experiences in my life that match watching my Red Sox win the World Series with the man that got me interested in sports in the first place. It really was magical. Dad caught the first three or four innings and woke up again at the start of the eighth. His smile was worth the four hours of driving and the three hours of sleep I ended up getting before finding myself home again at 6:30AM Thursday.

Ma is sleeping on the couch after Dad’s fall earlier this week. Kim tried to set up a baby monitor on the table next to Dad’s chair but it didn’t keep Ma downstairs in bed. I can’t really blame her.

I slept (tried to anyway) in the recliner opposite Dad’s. We settled in about 12:30AM. About 3:30AM Dad stirred and got up to pee. Ma was off the couch instantly to help him along. When he came back I tried to settle in again. After a few minutes I felt something. I opened my eyes to see Dad staring at me. This was what I came for. I got up and pulled the rocker along side his chair. We talked – really talked – for about 25 minutes. I held his hand in my and rubbed his back. It was great.

After all the standard lines like: I’m going out fighting … All we can do is take one day at a time … and This really sucks, he got down to the list of things that are really bothering him. His fear of the pain to come was actually low on the list. His chief fear is for Mom. He sees her exhausting herself taking care of him and wonders if it is all too much. It is, but there is no alternative really. I told him that if their positions were reversed he’d do the same for her. I also reassured him that we’d take good care of her after all this was over. He feels cheated and wondered aloud; “Why did this happen”?

I’m going to try and get back up again next week. It seems, as I expected, that the best time to have a real conversation with him is in the dead of night. I hope to have a few more of these in the time we have left.

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