So Thin.

No poem tonight, no words of delight. My father’s in hospital, fighting for his life. I held his thin hands and kissed his cheek. Skin looking pale, body so weak. He struggles to talk, voice comes and goes. Parkinson’s symptoms, oxygen feed in nose. Lungs contain fluid, muscle strength gone. Only weighs 67 kilos, but that’s still more than his son!
His brother visits, the one I remember – already had lots of surgery and medical dilemmas. He’s talking and jokes to elicit a smile. Dad returns joke, mind sharp – no denial.
The board on the wall, has written “when stable”; they’ll check out his lungs, on the operating table. It’s scary to think, of this man just like me; so frail of body, what else do I see? His strength and his love; in the words I catch clearly. (I’m here to remind him, of mutual love dearly.) His fear and discomfort, of these I am known. Still hope for the future, whatever may come. “I’ll see you tomorrow” I say before leaving. And release of his hand, as his face tilts to sleeping.

[something different, once again! 😉 I was just going to write a flow of prose, to express how I feel, to deal with it all. Because that is just who I am, an expressive person. But the rhyme kicked in straight away, with the first sentence, and I just kept going. This is not polished, this is raw, rough, and real life – just like today has been. I don’t know how I feel (about all this) because there is so much feeling happening. I would like to work that out in writing too perhaps, but that’s another story…]


20 thoughts on “So Thin.

  1. Oh gosh, I’m sorry to hear this. Not good at all – a complicated and heart wrenching situation to find yourself in.

    It feels wrong to talk about how beautiful your words are bearing in mind what they’re about – but they are beautiful. I love the quasi prose approach you’ve taken. It certainly is different and adds to the flow of feelings feeling (if you know what I mean?)

    I hope that your father is stable enough soon for helpful next steps to be taken. Here for virtual hugs if needed in the meantime x


  2. I’m so sorry your father has to suffer from his condition. I know what it is like to be a hostage of a physical disorder and hospitalized for months on end. The support that you and his brother provide him are invaluable. When I was sick, I thought it was harder for the people who cared about me to see me in my condition than it was for myself to deal with it. To love without pity and to love without a heart full of pain when we see a loved one suffering…I wonder if that is possible. I hope your father’s condition improves.


    • Thankyou your kind thoughts are appreciated. When you mention others having more difficulty dealing with a medical condition moreso than the sufferer, I have seen that situation – I’m sure it is common. I do however feel that I am, as you say, loving without pity & without feeling pain, so I say yes it is indeed possible. Maybe I was extracting the pain through writing this piece last night, so that I may calmly *be* with my father during these times.


    • Thankyou. Ok, maybe better yesterday, positive progress with a precedure cleared 2L of fluid from his lungs. I wanted to write last night but I was exhausted (not sleeping well). It’s nerve racking to contemplate so I must just focus on the now – I consider this intensive training to do that!


      • Great that they were able to remove the fluid. Not great that they needed to.

        It sounds very intense. Have you got anyone supporting you? Focusing on the now sounds like a good start but may be stressful in itself when now is so hard?

        Sending love. I wish I could do something helpful. All I can advise is just to keep talking to him. Even when he’s too ill to respond. Keep talking. It will offer him comfort.



        • I have support thankyou P. I just need to remember to let them in. My instinct is to contain all the emotion, not let anything out, hoping that somehow that will make the situation better. But I need to remember its out of my control I can only support.

          I guess I meant being present, rather than worrying about the ifs and maybes as is traditionally my habit.

          I’m not a big talker, so that does not come easily. I can just be there in presence and touch. I realised yesterday that I want to do this. I don’t need to, I could ask siblings to do more. And I’m not sure why I feel that way. Does it matter my reasoning?

          Yesterday the Dr said he is not leaving the hospital without a pacemaker.


        • Touch is probably even better than words but many people are afraid of touch I’ve found – when my husbands grandfather was dying recently I could do nothing other than hold his hand or stroke his head (he always liked that!) but others (closer) spoke but could not touch.

          Try… Please… To let others in and some of your feelings out or you will make yourself deeply unhappy and unwell. I know it’s hard.

          As for pacemakers, they’re amazing things. It’s unbelievable what they can do now really isn’t it?


  3. I’ve come to this via Genetic Mirror. It’s sad yet beautiful, your words so expressive I feel I’m standing in a corner of the room, watching.
    Poetry can be cathartic for the writer and the reader. Would you consider reading this piece to your Dad? Only you would know if that would be appropriate.
    Just being present for someone is a powerful gift.
    Take care


  4. I’m glad to hear you can feel present reading this, that lets me know how strong a piece it is.
    I think I will share this with my Dad once he is a little stronger and has more energy (he is still needing constant rest but not able to get that with all the follow up appointments now that he’s out of hospital). About 5 years ago, while doing some personal development, I gave him a letter that I wrote about recognising how he did his best bringing me (and my siblings) up. He has mentioned it numerous times this year in a thankful way, so I think he will appreciate this as well.
    My being present tends to also take the form of physically assisting around the house with things he is no longer capable of doing. So currently that is changing the shower around and installing handrails to assist his limited mobility.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Tricia.


  5. Visiting hour blog for the irst time Peter, and Im extremely moved by this piece of writing. It is quite amazing how writing can help us but it does and you express your feelings so well in your words.

    Take care and sending love


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