Tennessee Again

My dad’s best friend died last week. He was discovered in his apartment during a well check, having apparently passed from either a sudden heart attack or stroke. My dad and another friend had asked for a wellness check after they’d been unable to reach him for several days.

My dad had known G longer than he’d known his partner, D, who passed away at the beginning of the year. This makes 2019 the worst year of my dad’s life. I’m trying to ignore the voice in the back of my head that’s wondering if my dad is going to be able to handle the stress of losing the two people he was closest to 10 months apart.

It was a surprise to all of us. G was the sort that always seemed younger than his 68 years. He’d been here wrapping up a long visit when I joined my dad for a week in September. He left for Florida the same day I left to head back to Indiana, and it never once occurred to me to think that might be the last time I would see him.

Because G didn’t have any close family still living, my dad needed to head to Florida to oversee arrangements, find G’s birth certificate (needed for the death certificate to be finalized) and take care of G’s things. My dad has 3 cats, which would have added a lot of difficulty to his trip, so I arranged to come pet-sit for him this week. It’s not likely to be particularly difficult as I find cats are usually fairly easy to care for compared to a lot of other pets.

Two years ago I would have killed for the opportunity to spend a week by myself. I haven’t spent time by myself like this since I was 18-19 and had an apartment of my very own for 6 months.

Unfortunately it’s not two years ago, it’s now, when my brain has discovered it needs human connection and is craving congenial company, intimacy, or even just a good hug. So instead of being excited I’m feeling just as dreadfully lonely and isolated as ever, with the added bonus of actually being isolated in small town Tennessee.

I was supposed to hang out with H today, exploring a part of Indy I haven’t seen before. Instead I spent it alone, depressed, crying periodically and horribly bored. My dad doesn’t even have a wireless router, as he’s even more behind the times than I was and has no laptop or smartphone that would need said wireless connection. Luckily I have plenty of data on my phone and access to my dad’s desktop.

I also feel vaguely guilty for fixating on my own depression and misery when between the two of us, my dad is the one going through a much rougher time.

Silver lining: at least here I can cry whenever I want and don’t have to worry about my husband or kids asking me what’s wrong.

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