Saturday, July 2, 2011

A Silver Lining in a Major Illness

A view from the 6th floor at Wake Med

It’s hard to believe a silver lining could be found after someone had congestive heart failure and a sextuple bypass surgery. My dad was down visiting during Thanksgiving (2005) when he fell ill. He spent over 5 weeks in the hospital. When he was released from the hospital, he moved back in with my mom who would take care of him until he died. My parents were living in sin but they were back together.

The new resident couldn’t have made Abby happier. She already knew and liked my dad after his many visits during holidays and vacations. My dad would love her, too. He always liked dogs since he was a boy. He would go on and on about how fucking wonderful his dogs in his youth were. Meanwhile, the family dogs we had in my youth were mostly terrible and awful dogs. They bit people, killed kittens and tried to screw the cats. I wasn’t pleased to hear about my dad’s wonderful dogs from yesteryear while our dogs were horrible little beasts. Why couldn’t we have good dogs?

My dad’s presence gave much needed variety to Abby’s life. Abby was prone to boredom. She would divide her time between my mom and dad. In the morning, Abby spent her time mostly with my mom. My mom would feed her and give her pain pills for Abby’s arthritis. My mom would also let Abby out and back in.

Later in the day, Abby would spend her time with my dad. She even slept in his bedroom. Had my dad stayed in a bigger bed than his twin bed, Abby probably would have slept in bed with him. My dad had odd hours after years of working at a bar he owned. He went to bed late and woke up late. Abby would beg for food from my dad. He always obliged her by giving her a tooty from time to time. Abby would spend time with my dad in the computer room. My dad was always doing things and Abby liked to watch. They both liked each other’s companionship.

They both kept each other busy. Both of them were in the twilight of their lives, but yet they kept each other happy. I always thought of Abby as my dog, but eventually, she was as much as my dad’s dog as mine. She lived with me for a little over 4 years but she lived with my dad for a little over 3 years. My dad was able to fill a void in Abby’s life after she was no longer able to live with me anymore. They were good for each other.

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