I hate waiting. I don’t like standing in line, or waiting for a publisher to respond to a query or proposal, or for an exciting event that’s coming up. About the only time I enjoy waiting is on a lake shore when I have a fishing pole in my hands.
I’m in that life-on-hold position right now with my dad. Although we know he’s in his last days, he’s in a holding pattern at the care home he’s been living in the last year-and-a-half. Since he’s returned from the hospital, we’ve had some joyful times with family gathered around him, many tears, some moments of Alzheimer’s-addled awareness from him, many hours of sitting at his bedside while he sleeps.
For as long as I can remember, my dad always seemed to find it hard to be on time. It was a family joke. My grandmother used to say, “Sam, you’d be late for your own funeral.” Later, when my grandmother died, amidst our grief, we laughed when my dad was late for her funeral. It was almost an homage to her that he was the last to rush into the chapel.
So maybe he’s just living up to the family joke. Or maybe with all of us gathered around him, he doesn’t want to miss a thing. He loved us all so much and showed it in so many ways, he’s maybe finding it hard to say goodbye. I know we are.
We all know it’s coming. But as of now it’s just a waiting game. So we’ll just keep laughing when we can, crying when we must, and holding onto a lifetime of precious memories.