Letting Go


"Hi, Dad. How are you feeling today?"
My daughter Marian on the phone again. I suppose I should be grateful for her regular calls. At least they're easier to handle than the increasing number of visits that she makes these days.
Don't get me wrong. I love her dearly, and if there's one thing that I think I managed to get right in this life, it's the relationship; the bond, that I have with her and my grandchildren.
"Oh, a lot better today. The painkillers seem to have kicked in now, and I'm able to potter about making a cup of tea and something to eat."

That's a lie! The cocktail of pills that I have to swallow every couple of hours or so, do blunt the edge of the pain. What I won't tell her is that the pain is still there. At least it's manageable, at this stage anyway.
"If you like, I'll drop in after I pick up Evie from the school. Be just after three."
"Aye, that's fine, pet. I like seein' the bairn."
"Right, we'll see you then. Bye!"
"Bye, pet."

There are all the precious moments with the kids, that I want to keep for as long as possible, but, no matter how much I want to hang on, I will have to let them go.
Not as if I have the choice, do I?
Six months they said. Keep taking the tablets, and I could have as long as six months. It could have been ten months to a year maybe, if I had taken the chemotherapy. Bugger that! I've seen what that does. I don't want to end up looking like Gollum.

I'm hanging on, but I know it's really a process of letting go!
It's the things that have let go of me over the last few years. My eyesight's getting worse. My teeth have all but disappeared and the chances of me ever running for a bus again are rock-bottom zero.
My independence, my individuality, my freedom of choice, are under siege.
"Auld age disnae come itsel." they say. I'll vouch for that!

I'm becoming the focus of attention as I slowly fall apart. I was never what you would call a 'proud person', but I'd much rather avoid the scenario where they're all sitting around my bed, trying to be dutiful and brave, waiting for me to shuffle off to Buffalo. My illness shouldn't be allowed to grind them down.
No! While the choice is still mine I'll pick a day that suits me. If the sun is shining and the birds are singing, that would be a bonus.

"Do not exceed the stated dose!"
It's got that on all these packets of pills. The wee note also says ...
"Do not consume alcohol when taking these."
Well, I've been a little short of achieving the stated dose this last month. Quite a little pile I've put aside for a sunny day. There's a fine litre of Bacardi sitting waiting for me as well.

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Original story © Angus Sloan 2015
Layout, editing and additional material © Dave Sloan 2016
'tachras' and 'Winding Yarn' © Dave Sloan 2005, 2012, 2016

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