I spent a good portion of my day today planning what I would do, and nothing has gone as I'd planned at all.
For example, now is the eighth hour at the Victoria Hospital, when in fact I was supposed to be having a sandwich and blanket picnic party with three little girls. Nothing will happen as you plan it. Not the littlest or grandest notions happen exactly as laid out on blueprints.
My day started lovely, with a special "sleep -in" morning, which is fun when you're a parent, as it doesn't often happen.
But, there the plans went awry. A phone call summoned me to the emergency department to sit patiently with my stepmom and quietly watch over my father. My father has been bravely and determinedly battling cancer for more than half of my life.
He has a sharp keen mind and quick sarcastic humour, but you have to take him with a grain of salt, for if you don't know that he's joking he can be misconstrued as strict or mean.
His mind is vibrant and active, he doesn't miss a thing, even when he's been silent for hours he can still whip out a joke. He is mentally 110 per cent, absolutely the reverse of an Alzheimer's patient. I have phoned him for no other reason than to help me with a complicated mathematical formula, simply because he is the only person I trust to be accurate.
So for his body to be slowly giving up piece by piece is probably the worst kind of torture for him, the absolute and inescapable prison of a failing physical body. To be encased in this shell that is slowly crackling and sputtering out, to just have to put up with indescribable pain, to bear all the absurd and debilitating side effects of the very drugs which are staving off the cancer.
It is the worst kind of irony.
My father could have gone out in a blaze of flame on his motorcycle, in a high speed chase or a five car pileup. He could have nosedived in a glider or while learning how to fly, corkscrewing out of the air and burying the nose if the plane in a hill of green. He could have had a "shank" in his back, as he spent hundreds of hours in the penetentiary standing up and speaking against the injustices the prisoners had to suffer through.
He has done some ridiculously dangerous and high risk things, without any serious consequences that I know of. For an end of life experience to take out his ability to drive to the coffee shop, to visit other volunteers and retirees, to take away his social life that far outweighs mine ...
Just not the day I had planned out. It's funny how that goes. The absurdity of thinking I had a calm day ahead of me.