|self portrait by Paul 1990|
On this day I was feeling a lot more hope for a future of having my father around for a while. He was having longer periods of lucidity, and was getting grumpier as he realized how tied to the bed he is. After being in the ICU for two weeks he's had a lot of muscle loss.
Since it looked like he might be recuperating enough to leave the hospital, I was looking forward to helping him make plans for the future. I spoke with Paul about a possibility of him volunteering, or taking a continuing education class at the community college. If he were to ever get away from the drugs, he needed some new friends and a purpose for getting up in the morning. Up until now he's been staying in his apartment watching TV. And the apartment he was in was surrounded by drug users. He was evicted for non-payment of rent while in the hospital, so returning to that place was not an option.
When he kept evading the subject, I became frustrated. Later I spoke with the social worker about it. She told me that I just needed to let him be. He may not be able to think or make plans about the future right now. For me this is difficult. I've always been a facilitator. I get things done! To just sit around and not even dream about what may be, seemed very foreign to me. She told me that maybe he could teach me how to do that. Just "be."
A friend and former lover of his came to visit. Ellie is more like a sister now than a lover, but she really seemed to brighten his day. They made plans for her to take his truck, until he can use it himself. Before she left, he told her that he'd like to take a road trip with her to Vegas. This little dream for the future gave me some hope.
I'm afraid without friends around, and without a dream for the future, he's just going to give up.
I went through some of his art work the day before, and picked out this self portrait to bring home. There was another picture of a maniacal skeleton riding a syringe through the Albuquerque valley. I thought it was autobiographical. I didn't keep that one. It creeps me out.
Before I left Paul instructed his brother to take his debit card and get me some money to take back on my trip. I find it interesting what a turn around has happened in his thinking.
I left earlier on this day; about 4pm. Emotionally, I was exhausted. Later that night, I made a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy some art supplies for Paul to use while in the hospital. I hope that someone will get him a pair of glasses so that he can draw, and read.