Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Oh, Daddy.

I have long said that your sweet tooth would be the death of you. Midnight powdered donuts. Pecan Sandies right before dinner. The inability to pass a Dairy Queen without stopping for a malt.

Really. You didn't have to take me so seriously. You didn't have to be so literal.

My parents' health issues prompted me to start blogging. There was always a trauma. Always a certain amount of time left for them. Always a last goodbye.

And yet, they are both still here. I know that I'm lucky.

A little over a week ago, Daddy fell onto the driveway after spilling an ice cream sundae in his lap in the car. Dairy Queen, how I hate you.

He hit his head quite hard. So hard that it was how Momma realized he had fallen. She heard his head hit like a melon from the other side of the car.

What got him though, was his hip. He broke his hip.

We saw that coming a mile away. He's frail. He's shaky. He's stubborn.

He has had surgery to repair the break, and we are told that it went well. What didn't go well were the 20-30 mini strokes he had sometime after the surgery.

He didn't wake up for days.

Now, I'm told he is unresponsive. Or sometimes I hear that he is a little responsive. He can't talk. He can talk a little bit. He can't get up. He's sitting on the edge of the bed.

I'm slightly confused.

It's hard to know what is going on when you aren't there to see it yourself.

There is talk of hospice. Feeding tubes. No feeding tubes. The Parkinson's will keep him from recovering fully from the strokes. I think. As I understand it.

I'm getting new tires for the Jeep so that I can go if I need to. But I'm not going until Momma says she needs me, or until Daddy is gone.

Daddy and I are good. I don't need to see him that one last time. I need to remember him from his visit in November.

Last night's episode of How I Met Your Mother was a little hard for me to watch. Marshall's father died suddenly. The episode centered around his father's last words to everyone.

Marshall's dad's last words to him were "Rent Crocodile Dundee III." Which, if you know my daddy, is really funny, because his favorite movie is, in fact, Crocodile Dundee.

In spite of all the information I've received about how unresponsive my daddy is, today, I talked to him on the phone. I have no freaking idea what that is all about, and I'm not sure I even believe it myself.

I was talking to my momma when I heard a very mumbled, "Who is that?" to which Momma replied, "It's Marty. Do you want to talk to her?"

The next thing I know, I'm TALKING ON THE PHONE to my daddy who we just were talking about going into hospice. WHAT? I know.

I didn't understand much of what he said. It has been difficult to understand him on the phone for quite some time, but today was different. It was stroke talk on top of Parkinson's talk. Just garbled. What I did get was this:

Me: I hear you fell out of the car because of an ice cream sundae.
Daddy: Someone is pulling your leg.

The man made a joke.

Daddy: How are . . . (he couldn't find the names)
Me: My boys?
Daddy: Yes, and Mallory?
Me: They are doing just fine. The boys have birthdays coming up, you know.

More garbledness.

Daddy: I have to go now.
Me: I know. Thank you for talking to me.
Daddy: You bet.
Me: I love you.
Daddy: . . .
Me: Do you still love me, Daddy?
Daddy: Absolutely.

And in case I didn't understand the first one:

Daddy: Ab.So.LUTE.Ly.

I don't know what to think. If those are his last words to me, then I'm a lucky daughter.

The Suttles are known for rallying and beating the odds though. Maybe he's going to pull through this after all.

I sure wouldn't be surprised.

But I have to say, I'm okay if it's his time to go. He shouldn't have to work so hard to recover just to still be so sick with Parkinson's. I'm alright to let go of him if he needs me to. We're good.