Friday, October 11, 2013

Home not home, but it's good to be home

It’s my sixth day in Columbia, MO – almost a week.  It all seems so surreal

Home isn’t home yet. The house is the same as when I left Columbia 30 years ago.  The furniture is the same. The first television my pops purchased is parked in the living room. It doesn’t work.  It serves as a reminder of when color television came to replace black & white.  My old Bose 501 speakers are surrounded by old cassettes.  Many are recordings of my former radio show on KOPN FM.

Maybe I’ll make a return to radio.

Maybe I’ll…

There’s something special about cleansing.  It comes with both good and bad – like cleansing your colon.  You have to drink the bad and wait for the movement before you feel the benefits of flushing out all that junk.  I know, I know – too much information. That’s the way this feels.

The good news is the news that it’s good for you.  Good health requires that we suck it in, take our medicine and wait for the results.  Did I mention I’ve already lost 5 pounds?  A lot has been lost since leaving Durham, North Carolina to move back home.  I’m still waiting for the things I’ll gain.

Most of my clothes are stacked on the floor in the bedroom.  I haven’t found time to move the clothes in the closet to the garage.  I have six boxes of clothes waiting to be shipped here from Durham.  There’s no room for them.  That describes my life here – there’s no space for my life.  I simply have to find a way to make it all fit.

I still read the Durham Herald-Sun, the News & Observer, the Durham News and the Independent Weekly.  I rise every morning at 4:30 am to begin my day.  After reading newspapers and writing in my journal, I prepare my pops breakfast.  After feeding him, giving him his meds and confirming his schedule for the day, I do my best to find time for me. 

Just a little. 

Soon, it’s time to cook lunch.  There are doctor appointments almost every day.  The nurse comes to the house three days a week.  The phone calls come in daily from my sister and mother.  They’re concerned about my pops big toe.  His doctor is considering amputation.  Pops says he’s prepared for the worse.  He keeps smiling like it’s no big deal.  I know the truth.

He’s tired. After two open heart surgeries, a bout with cancer, an aneurism, enduring a diabetic coma, bacterial meningitis and numerous strokes, he has every right to be tired. After countless visits to the hospital and rehabilitation centers, his journey makes me tired.

He keeps smiling.

Over 1000 insulin syringes are stuffed in a closet.  They are packed in with the other medical supplies shipped monthly.  They keep coming despite the fact pops has more than he will ever use.  The company that sends them knows Medicare will pay the bill.  A short look in the closet solves the riddle of why Medicare is losing money.

A company called Signature Foods delivers meals for the week every Thursday.  The frozen meals are packed in the freezer.  They can’t be good for you.  I refuse to accept they’re the best option.  I’ve been searching for a Whole Foods and local gardens.  My pops loves the frozen meals.  I’m begging him to stop drinking milk, but his doctor tells him to drink three glasses a day.  I talk to him about eating less meat and eating fresh vegetables.  I feel the coming of a civil war.

I haven’t had coffee since my arrival.  I broke away for two hours on Tuesday to visit the editor of Inside Columbia Magazine.  She offered to contract with me to write for the magazine.  The managing editor at a local newspaper meets with me next week.

I did go to church on Sunday.  I felt out of place.  The church is 50 yards from my pops house.  I preached my first sermon there in 1979.  I counted 5 people I knew.  I walked home after the service and asked God what it all means.  God didn’t answer my question. 

It’s time to cook pops lunch.  I have to call his doctor and ask about the IV that wasn’t removed from his arm when he left the hospital on Saturday.  The nurse at the doctor’s office told me the people at the wound clinic were supposed to remove it on yesterday.  The people at the wound clinic told me it wasn’t there responsibility.  They said they were only advised to take care of my pops foot.  It’s been an hour since the nurse said she would call me back.

Maybe I’ll get out later today to get a cup of coffee.  Maybe I will meet new friends at the coffeehouse.  Maybe I’ll…

I’m praying pops blood sugar drops before he eats his lunch.  It was 238 at breakfast.  It’s been as high as 382 this week.

Did I mention that Uncle Cecil died on yesterday?
Welcome home.


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