4am wake-up, A Time to Reflect
One of the peculiarities of this curse that is MS is the way your body reacts to temperature. I can be in shorts and a t-shirt at 11 degrees while my feet are glowing like embers, likewise in a few hours I freeze and just cannot get warm again.
At night it prompts the late night or early morning music expeditions…my very own “How can we sleep while our feet are burning …”experience.
This is when you are likely to see my music preferences coming out and my mind starts partitioning all the incidents that have contributed to my life’s story into chapters!
Having a Tribe that is global means I can also always catch up with someone…somewhere 😊 but I digress.
Earlier today 23.10.2019, I woke up with the “bed’s are burning in my head” so to say. The fur-babies were all snoring in their beds so it was just a quiet time in the house.
The song in my head was “Heroes” by David Bowie, the haunting lyrics of “we could be heroes, just for one day”
I got to thinking about my younger days and specifically the days leading up to my dads passing in October 1989/90, I forget exactly which year, it was a long time ago and still a blur.
What started as “flu”, then bronchitis, then hospitalisation, then pneumonia eventually (after a few weeks of unsuccessful attempts to drain his lungs of fluid) became the “C”, he was given 6 months. He was finally diagnosed with asbestosis.
Over the next months we (the family) watched as a strong, stubborn, proud man got reduced to a frail skeleton of his former self. The months dragged on and rather than the “6 months” initial prognosis he persisted and fought. The 6 months became 12 as he deteriorated further. Towards the end, morphine syrup, bottles of oxygen, bouts of lucid clarity interspersed with morphine infused delusional flashbacks to his youth, not something I would wish for anyone.
Throughout these final days I would be driving the 600-700km each way from Durban to Johannesburg on a Friday night returning on the Sunday. The road was long and gave ample time to think about what I wanted to or could say. Each weekend he would perk up…the next days he would regress (perhaps the perking up was what we wanted to see) but he never improved. It was an inevitable slide in the wrong direction.
As a child I spent many hours with my dad, in his garage “wood-working”, me just scratching through his “stuff” , old cake tins full of bolts , nuts, screws (a regular treasure trove for a child) more than “working” but he was my hero and I relished the time with him.
in later years when we went fishing together, we spent many a weekend weathering storms , rain, hail, thunderstorms, wind. He never discussed LIFE with me, never told me what I was doing wrong (He did say Don’t buy an Alpha Romeo…but I too was a stubborn learner), never commented on my weird music taste but I knew that he was quietly proud of me and that he loved me. He just never said it out loud. As my sister says , he didn’t have too much to say unless it was about something that really mattered to him – although Boxing …the exception !
When it came to those last days I was torn, wanting to say those simple words but just not finding them. I guess it was the lesson I still needed to learn. All the times I sat holding his unresponsive hands, I could have just said those three simple words, but I just didn’t. I hope he felt what I couldn’t say
(I know he did but to me I failed in just not saying it out loud).
I talk often of not having regrets…
This is my greatest regret in my life.
However, I have learnt my lesson and make sure that every day I let my family know how much I love them. I am truly blessed with two amazing daughters – I relish having them in my life and embrace sharing their challenges in life. I have made a point of never holding back letting them know they are loved and cherished (every day in fact).
I would like to believe my parents approve and are watching over them. They never met them but I know they too would be incredibly proud of them and everything hey have achieved in their lives.
The point of all of this is simple, Don’t wait for tomorrow to say the important things today.
Live by example and be a hero, even if it’s just for one day
As the sun started poking through the windows, (we have sun), I found some solace in these amazing mixes – Franco you are my music hero!
Today is a new day, make it count.
13.08.1933 – 02.10.1990