What do you do when you find out your Dad is probably dying?
Yesterday I spoke to my dad who we have just discovered is more than likely about to deal with possibly terminal Pancreatic cancer.
Looked bad on the MRI. Now he is going for a biopsy of his liver on Monday. He has no one there except his beautiful Vietnamese nurse who has looked after him for the last 6 years.
Now historically I have had daddy issues. He is a warrior of a man but my little and teenage self rebelled deeply against his vices.
This morning I danced the dance of the heart chakra today I wept. I wept for my dad and the walls I had placed between us. I wept for the man who had been hurt so deeply in his life and responded with such bravado a bit like a pinned lion but one who was fiercely protective of me. He was the youngest Green Beret instructor during the Vietnam era, he was a mercenary at one point, and now in a wheelchair he carries a weighted cane and enough Mana to scare a gang member. He is afraid of nothing…except possibly needles and he will be facing a big one soon. He is incredibly inappropriate with an absolutely wicked sense of humour…might be where mine came from…or mum…yep solid mix of the two old farts.
The true measure of the man came to me when he forgot I was on skype as he had turned it so that Nga his nurse could talk to me. Then he started focusing on her. He was into his cups a bit so the forgetfulness was to be expected. He told Nga what a beautiful soul she was and he asked her what Buddhists think about suicide. I think he is wanting to plan his death on his terms and not on some hospitals or pharmaceutical companies plans. Laws and rules have never really been his strong suit and he has never met a boundary he hasn’t leaned into. He always wanted to die in battle I think. Nga, his nurse, She shook her head at his question. He said to her that while he was still sane because he wasn’t sure what would happen with his mind with all of this…but if he was to ever ask her to do anything that was against her beliefs or would hurt her that she had his full permission and encouragement to leave immediately because he never wanted to do anything that would hurt her. I cried. This is the man whom I locked out of my heart? Who I built huge walls to protect myself. Why was that again? Yes he drank and I hated that, I judged him so harshly for it. I hated seeing the weakness of it against the strong man. I feared that addiction would be passed into my own new small family and I wanted to protect my son. Understandable but to what end. He is dying now and my son missed out on knowing the lion that was his grandfather.
I am going to see if there is anyway I can get him over here if he is terminal so that I can do his hospice care myself. Not sure if the doctors will let him on a plane though. He sounded awful with his coughing and nausea. I pity the person that gets the seat next to him.
All he wants is to have one last hunt and one last good fish.
I have friends here who I am sure would help me to make that possible for him.
Then he wants his ashes spread from a helicopter on the Cook Straight because he so loved both the North and the South Islands of New Zealand. Well his real dream is for me to put him on a raft and shoot arrows at it and send him to Valhalla. I told him I could make one out of Popsicle sticks and float it down the creek in the back yard and put some of his ashes on it and torch it with lighter fluid instead. That gave him a laugh so hard that he spent the next three minutes mixing hacking coughs with booming laughter. He said only his daughter would think of such a brilliant solution. Now I just need to find a helicopter pilot who will take him up before he dies too. His one regret. He jumped out of heaps of planes but never a helicopter.
I don’t know what will come of it all. Not even sure if he will be allowed on a plane but I pity the person that tries to stop him if he gets a mind to come.
So that was my dance. I danced in love. I unlocked my heart and felt love not just for my dad but for all of the men who have been wounded. All of the men who had been taught that they must stuff their emotions and not show them or feel them. All of the men who had been sent to war to protect those they loved and came back…changed. Unable to talk about what ached in them…unable to release the blocks. Today my love flowed for them all.
The Mandala from today and the Rooster who was awake before I was this morning