Daddy’s sister, L, has been in the hospital all week. She was diagnosed with cancer just a few weeks ago, and her first chemo treatment took a big toll on her. Last weekend, the family rallied together to get her to the hospital and make sure she was taken care of since she was failing and everyone was at a loss, not knowing how to help.
Daddy realized that he couldn’t continue letting other family members drive this particular train – he had to take control. It’s a good thing he did, as L’s day-to-day responsibilities like bill paying and child rearing are now being overseen by Daddy who makes those things a priority in his own life. He’ll also go to her doctor’s appointments so he understands better what’s happening with her.
What this has meant is that he’s spent a lot of time at the hospital – and rightly so. I stayed home this weekend with my two boys and L’s nine year old son, E. To the boys, it was a weekend-long campout filled with movies and video games. To me, it was a test run of what the future could look like depending on what happens with L and the decisions she makes for her family. For Daddy, it was a long weekend of worry, stress, and sadness as he watched first hand what cancer is doing to his sister and to his family.
During the week, he went to the hospital to see her after work to find out what she needs, take care of the things he knew about, and generally be a good big brother. This meant that from the time he left in the morning to go to work until the time he came home about 14 hours later, I was home with the boys, waiting and working. Not exactly a bad gig if you compare it to being in a hospital for any amount of time.
The reality is that we missed each other. It was one thing to be apart because of 440 miles of distance. It’s another thing to be apart due to duty-filled hours and exhaustion. I’ll take this any day, but we were still missing each other even as we fell in to the bed exhausted every night.
I didn’t know what to do with myself while he was gone – other than worry about how tired he was, how stressed he felt, and how I wished there was something I could do to fix it. Instead, I worked, and I took care of things at home.
I realized all I could do for him was wait patiently for his return and give him as much support as possible. It was the only way I could take care of him.
When he apologized for being gone so much, I told him there was nothing to apologize for. When he promised he’d come home early, I told him to take all the time he needed. When he double-promised he wouldn’t be late, I smiled and told him I wasn’t holding my breath – there was no way to predict what he’d find on any given afternoon when he arrived to see his sister.
It’s my job to hold the fort down so that he has one less thing to worry about. I’d rather his focus be on his sister when he’s with her, and on attempting to relax when he’s at home with us.
He mentioned at one point how much he’d love some homemade cookies earlier this week. I wasn’t sure if I could fit it in as I’d become insanely busy all of a sudden, so I told him I would try. Talking to my mom later that day, I realized that if that’s all he asked of me with everything going on, I could give the man cookies. She agreed completely. He’s had two batches of homemade cookies this week. My waistline doesn’t love it, but he deserves as much care and love as I can provide, even if it’s in the form of a cookie.
When he mentioned he wanted an adult day/night out this weekend, and he didn’t care about the cost, I knew I had to put my fears about unknown babysitters to the side. No, I’m not willing to take any crazy person off the side of the street and let them watch the boys, but I couldn’t procrastinate anymore. Moving heaven and earth, I looked for a babysitter in a city full of strangers.
This isn’t strictly a D/s thing or a vanilla thing. It’s a love thing. If more people took care of the ones they love when they need it most, the world would probably be a much better place.
I can’t change what’s happening. I have no sage advice to offer. Frankly, Daddy may be tired of what I do tell him because I’ve seen three family members die of terminal illnesses. But I can love him, help him, and above all, take care of him.