As I've mentioned before, my dad is in the expected slow decline of life, as one would expect from an 88-89 year old man. Today, things were hammered home in a way that I expected, but that my brother was trying to avoid - the realization that my dad would need to go into a nursing home.
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I've never told my dad that I'm transgender, nor do I plan to. He has enough to deal with these days, and it would bring up old experiences with which neither of us is comfortable. So, I figure that his "countdown clock" (that we all have that numbers our days) is out in the open for all of us to see.
I was already awake and dressed at 9:00 am (a rarity on a weekend for me) when my brother called me while I was cooking breakfast. He then started to tell me about how my dad fell, and that my sister in law (and a next door neighbor) couldn't lift my dad up from the floor. My brother had called a couple of friends of his from the fire department to take my dad to the hospital for treatment. And then he realized that his 61 year old wife shouldn't be responsible for lifting my dad off the floor, putting her health at risk - she's too old for that. In the back of his mind, he reached the decision I came to 6 months ago - my dad needed to be in an assisted care facility (read: nursing home) - something I hoped he would do before things got too bad.
There are so many things that we will need to sort out. Since my dad is still with us, he realizes that he did his best to make things easier for my brother and I, but not everything was taken care of. So my brother will record what my dad says, and email me an MP3 of my dad speaking. (The reality is that he may need to put the file on a memory stick and give it to me. But I understand what he's doing, and don't care about the how.)
The family homestead will need to be cleaned out and made ready for either a sale or to be rented out. It will take a lot of time, especially since the two of us are working full time, and only have weekends to spare. Even calling 1-800-got-jumk won't help right now, as we first must identify what the junk is. Because it is now Summer, crawling through the eaves will be exhausting because of retained heat - even in the dead of night. So I don't look forward to the series of events that is about to happen.
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My dad's frail health makes me think of what will happen when I get to be that age. Unlike my dad, I have no children to look out after me. My niece will likely be living over a continent away, either living in Great Britain, or even further away from where I live. She won't be able to look after my affairs as I'd have hoped. So I'll have to look to develop the kind of friendships where I can entrust my well being to others - others who know I am transgender, and can arrange the special care that I will need in the future.
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There are other things going on today that I will want to write about. I'll cover them in another entry sometime over the weekend....