Hey folks, hope everyone is doing well here at the Nexus and you all had a great Christmas.
Mine and my twin brother Colin's Christmas went pretty well, for the most part. Spent the day with the family on the Illinois side of the Mississippi and for the most part, it was a very good time for everyone.
Unfortunately, there was one reminder of how fragile life can be. As most of you know, my father has been very ill for some time now; he has Parkinson's disease and it's been ravaging his body for quite some time now. Much of it, I think, has been because of his hard drinking, IMHO, which wasn't unusual for the time (the 1960s and 1970s) in my hometown (work hard in the steel mills during the day or your shift, then drink harder afterwards) we grew up in.
We spent Thanksgiving with the family, and he joined us from the nursing home he's been in since last spring. He didn't look very good at that time and we knew going in that he wasn't doing very well.
At Christmas, he was brought over after we arrived at my mom and sister's apartment. What I saw shocked me.
Dad looked absolutely horrible; his weight is way down, he looked bruised and almost like a skeleton. His hair had been cut and he looked just ghastly.
After he left, Colin and I talked to mom and told us what we had been thinking for some time now: Although we all hope we're wrong on this, this may well have been dad's last Christmas with us, although no one knows for sure.
We had a good discussion about what was going on and she tried to answer whatever questions we had about what was going on. While some basic plans are in place, there's still some things that have to be done, and some of the specifics can't be done until after the inevitable takes place.
It was very sad seeing my dad in his current state. He cannot talk anymore and he's very, very weak. He turned 79 at the end of November and both of us personally are afraid he won't make it to 80. We've had our differences with him in the past, but we have made up and forgiven each other for anything we've done to each other over the years.
Right before he left, I hugged him and told him how much I loved him. I could tell he really appreciated it and tried to respond. He didn't have to; I knew he loved me too.
For those who want to, just keep him in your thoughts; if you have any words of encouragement or advice, as well, feel free to leave them here.
I want everyone to know how much I appreciate this community and the support you've given me since I've been here. Hope 2013 is another fantastic year for everyone associated with the Nexus.
Take care, everyone.