The photo on this post is of Boris and my dad, Steve. It was taken less than a month before Boris died. My dad looks so different now. He is probably 50 pounds lighter now. At that time, my dad didn’t need a walker as he does now. He could be left alone for at least 2-3 hours. He could take a shower by himself. So much has changed. And Boris hasn’t been here to see it.
Lately, I have been sad and angry that Boris isn’t here for my dad’s declining health. I have mentioned this in a few posts, but my dad has Parkinson’s disease and dementia. The last several years have been more challenging with his declining cognition. In the last year, he has progressed so much that he now requires someone to be with him 24/7 and needs help with almost everything including showering and going to the bathroom. Because life happens in front of us in real-time without us pausing to take it in, it is difficult for me to take a step back from his progression and remember when everything began to change. But, I think his dementia was beginning to worsen significantly right around the time of Boris’s death. Now that I am one of his care partners along with my mom and sister and he requires so much help, his needs consume a lot of my life. I am constantly worried something will happen–usually I worry about him falling or hurting himself accidentally. For the last 18 months, I have been worried about COVID-19, of course. It seems weird but it also makes sense that this phase of my life makes me miss Boris. It might seem unrelated to people who haven’t lost their partner or to people who haven’t had to care for an aging parent, but not having my person here to support me is hard. My dad knew Boris almost as long as I did–he was the kid who made his teenage daughter late for curfew more than a few times and eventually he was like a son to him. Boris was around my family a lot–for every birthday and celebration. He even traveled with me, my sister, and my dad to NYC one year for a Parkinson’s fundraising walk. Boris should be here as I struggle with my grief over my dad’s declining cognition and overall health. He should be here to give me, my sister, and my mom respite while we go get a pedicure or see a movie. He should be here researching new Parkinson’s treatments or ways to ease my dad’s anxiety. My heart is breaking over my dad’s health. It sucks that I am 30 and my dad has Parkinson’s and dementia. It sucks that any future milestone or life event that I have, he may not be able to really participate in it the way a dad should be able to. And I want Boris here to comfort me in the suckiness of this. I want Boris here to support me. I need him here. And he isn’t here. And it isn’t fair.