Wednesday, 2 December 2015

i cannot stop reliving it

The sun has come out again here today, after a soupy morning and two days of mizzle. Summer is arriving in Hawke's Bay.  Dad lived almost a full year of the seasons following his diagnosis and, pregnant/postpartum/worried, I lived them with him.

Summer was hot, scorching.  I spent the summer months searing memories of Dad onto my (functioning, non-cancerous) brain, wondering if it would be the last Christmas, the last summer.  Dad nearly died late in summer.  As the heat withered grass, trees, any slice of green, I realised that time was short.  Not just metaphorically, but literally.

Autumn was consumed by his treatment, the failure of his treatment, and periods of hospitalisation; a serious downhill slide as the warm weather continued too long.  I watched the final of the Cricket World Cup at his bedside in hospital, one of the last real times he was the Dad he'd always been, but sick (contrast: the sick Dad of later months).  I spent Autumn bitterly consumed by what to do about my job. It was coming a distant third behind my family and my pregnancy and I couldn't focus.  I took parental leave early on 1 May, worried that time with Dad was very limited and worried about Mum. Though the warm weather lingered unseasonably, it suddenly and unexpectedly snowed in Hawke's Bay in May, the first time in over 20 years.

Winter came in two parts: travelling to be with Mum and Dad, and waiting for W to arrive following my 36th week of pregnancy. It was a period of stabilisation for Dad and we adjusted to his new normal, making the most of the glimpses of Dad we could unearth.  He made the heavens move in order to come to Auckland one final time and meet his grandson, born in the middle of a storm and newly emerged into wintry sunshine.

Spring came with the final deterioration.  It was the best Spring on record in Hawke's Bay on record, they say. The most sunshine hours and the most rain.  The trees on the farm grew prolifically, the neglected garden burgeoned with flowers in a final display for Dad, whose eyes could no longer see it.  

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