Thursday, November 5, 2009

Famous Last Words

One of my sisters called tonight to ask me if I was going to keep writing this blog. I told her I wasn’t sure what to do anymore. This is when she had the great idea that I should write about her. Of course, being the baby it’s always all about her.

The truth is, she has cancer and thinks she is next in line for the Death Train. Some days, like when chemo is kicking her butt or our dad has just bought the farm, she has her ticket purchased, bags packed and is ready to board. She usually says some morbid, creepy thing like, “I just want to be with Mom and Dad.” Oh really, because you didn’t like being around them that much when they were breathing. How quickly we forget how crazy our parents made us once they are gone. All of a sudden my sister is a flaming Catholic again and thinks our parents should be canonized saints. Don’t worry, I plan on reminding her daily of the awesome things they use to do to make her life a living hell. This is going to be great. I think I am even beginning to feel a bit happy again now that I have a new mission.

In one of our last conversations, little sister was bawling her head off instructing me regarding her last will and testament wishes. I told her to knock it off because I knew for a fact she was not going anywhere anytime soon. I told her I could even prove it. So, here is the proof.

A few days before my dad died, I became very aware of what was happening. He had stopped eating, was barely drinking anything and slept constantly. He would open his eyes for a very short time, say a few words and then be back to sleep for hours again. When I realized time was very short, I grabbed my laptop, sat next to him and waited. Every time he would open his eyes and speak, I would type down what he said. I did this for several days until he eventually passed away. I found it nearly impossible to leave his side, afraid I might miss something, a last word of wisdom or love or affirmation. Even in walking with my dad to the end, I remained selfish, not wanting to lose the last drop of my dad that might be mine if I only listened. This is what he left me.

“I need a girlfriend. She can be old.” (Yes, ladies, even when dying, men only have one thing on their mind. Amazing!)

“One day I’ll die and then you’ll cry.” (My dad made up little poems on a daily basis. This one was voted one of our least favorites.)

“I wish there were more men around here. It’s nothing but women in this place.” (Excuse me for being a girl. This statement of his might explain why he told my sisters and me that he wished we had been named Joseph, Thomas and Bobo. By the way, Kelly was Bobo.)

“I bet I could beat you in a race with my car.” (Again with the car?)

“Do you feel alright? (I responded, yes.) “I do too.”

“Are you still here?” (I said yes I was here and I wouldn’t leave him. His answer?) “Me too.”

“It’s just my arm, that’s all. It’s nothing.” ( I am pretty sure it was more than his arm but I still wish he had been right.)

“My butt’s sore. I’m gonna get up and dance with you pretty quick.” (Of course, this made me cry because I wanted to dance with him like we had just a week or so before.)

Finally, he was silent for an entire day. It was brutal thinking I would never hear his voice again. I wept wanting my dad to stay with me but knowing he was leaving and then it happened. As I stood near his bed, rubbing his cheek and kissing his forehead, he opened his eyes and spoke one last time. What did he say?

“I’ll be ok. Then we’ll get that weight off you.”

What the heck!?!?!?!?! Do you remember my mother’s last words to me? Let me remind you. They were, “Well, you are fat.” Jesus, Mary and Joseph save me from this crazy family already.

Still wondering where the proof is that my sister is not dying anytime soon? She has not mentioned my weight … yet. Once she does, I figure she’s got three days tops.


Dianna said...

I am blown away by the parting words of your parents. I can see it now, an intervention from heaven! That is so stinking crazy and yet so cool at the same time. It really won't be fair to the rest of us that you will have the Kingdom rooting for your weight adjustment, but I will be happy for you. Btw, where can I score some snickers dark.

Kelly may have forgotten how much good crap you have on her, maybe you should let her edit it, nahh.

You guys are blessed to have each other, and each day is a gift, and we don't know what tomorrow has for any of us. I am blessed by you!

guitpicken61 said...

Today, I'm glad you recorded your dad's last words. It's strange how love and humor can remain intact throughout. It made me smile and, well, I can relate a bit.

Blogs change directions. Yours can too. Mine is rather quiet this year (my first year of caregiving)because I feel confused.

Thanks for sharing this. If you write about your sister, I might need tips. I have a lot of blog fuel available if I choose my sister as a topic.

Continuing to pray for your comfort, rest and peace as you work through this loss.

Boomer Pie said...

Don't stop writing! You're just too darn good to stifle yourself.

Sarah said...

that was funny how he wanted a girlfriend and worrying about your weight. parents can be very cruel sometimes. in that sense i guess he was normal? does that mean so is my mom??? heaven helps us all! i hate to tell you this, but a friend told me she started recording her parents' voices before they passed, so you might want to start doing that with your sister. maybe that will get her to snap out of it. :)

Anonymous said...

As Dad and Aunt Meta would say
Here comes "two ton Tony"

Charles said...

I am glad you are still writing!!, I love reading your blogs

jharington said...

I love you< Marla- you always make me laugh- no matter what is happening!

Marla said...

All I have to say is, you people are easily entertained. :-)

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I love this. It's tragic and sad and funny and moving.

Marla said...

Thank you, Nanny!

Amy said...

Ok this made me laugh and cry at the same time...I love you, and I'm sorry that no matter how old you are, or your parents are, or how much of a pain in the butt they are when they are alive, our lives will never be the same without them.

Lily Robinson said...

I can't stop reading your posts! Yours is the most unique blog I've discovered in quite a while.

My relationship with my dying father does not seem to be similar, but his last words... yeah, I can relate.

Marla said...

Amy ~ I love you ... more! Remind John, he's gonna miss me when I'm gone. :-)

Lily ~ I hardly know how to respond to your extremely kind words. Thanks for following me. By the way, I love your blog. We could be kindred spirits!