Living the Dream - Updated 2 times (Viva le Fred!)

I got up early this morning, took a shower, got dressed and dried my hair, and I am sitting on my front porch eating fruit and enjoying the morning. This is exactly how I have envisioned starting my days in retirement, the only thing that would make it better would be an ocean across the street and some palm trees. 

Fred's chrysalis is going to open today, too, I have been watching it get darker and darker as the morning has progressed.

There is, of course, a cloud hanging over my head, the universe scheduled Dad for atrial fibrillation this weekend and he's having a procedure to attempt to correct it this morning. I was put into the position, when I got home last night and saw the changes in the chrysalis, of having to choose. Do I rush to the hospital this morning or do I follow through on my responsibility to Fred?

I know that a lot of people wouldn't even see a choice here, they would say ditch the bug and go take care of your parent. I could have done that, and then I would have spent the rest of my life berating myself for causing an innocent to die. So I put the question to Dad. He could have said no, I need you here, but he didn't. He said that he had a whole cadre of doctors and nurses and that he would be fine. And he knows how much effort I have put into helping the monarch butterflies, so he told me to stay home and see this through to the end.

Four hours after my alarm went off I am still waiting for Fred to pop. I had about 6 dreams last night about butterflies hatching, the last one was apocalyptic and I don't think all of the butterflies survived, but most of them ended well. I have had an old phone recording non-stop since I went into the shower so that we don't miss the big unveiling, and according to this web page mine has been within minutes for about an hour. The big problem is that it could just not hatch. No one has any way to tell that until it doesn't happen. And I just read another page that changing their location can slow them down so I put it back into the plant cage.

My lesson for today. Let go and trust the universe. If it wasn't for parasitic wasps I could just put Fred outside and go to Dad. Since I can't do that with a clear conscience, I am stressing because my control issues think that I need to be there to keep Dad alive. I am asking if my choice means that the one I choose lives and the other one doesn't?

A hummingbird just buzzed the hollyhocks.

I know that Dad's survival doesn't depend on my presence. Fred would probably be okay, too, if I tucked him outside for the big reveal. I talked to Dad this morning and he reiterated stay home. I admit that I hoped the universe would make it possible to do both.

I know that no one is going to understand this choice to stay home. I didn't want to have to choose. Which one do you abandon, the one with a team or the one who only has you and doesn't have a chance to vote?

The sun just came over the trees.

Update- I am crying now, it wasn't just Dad that I had to let go of control over, it was Fred, too. He is as safe as I could make him in the milkweed patch, with plenty of room for his wings to unfurl.

Hale and farewell, Fred. May the Universe watch over you.

Update #2: I came home to find an empty chrysalis, Fred began this final journey as he did everything, covertly. As a caterpillar he lived on the underside of the bottom leaves. He created his chrysalis in the dark of night surrounded by leaves. And he burst free to fly in orange glory again surrounded by the leaves where he was born. I wandered over to see my neighbor, following a strange compulsion, and saw a set of bright orange wings fly over the top of her garage. I want to believe that was Fred, heading out.

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Comment by Sheila Reep on July 31, 2017 at 3:18pm

Life is tough, and then you die.  

Comment by Phyllis on July 31, 2017 at 5:08pm

Monkey, I have considered a cage but it would need to allow access for the adult butterflies and I haven't gone out looking yet. Maybe for next year, if I'm more healthy and less tired.

Sheila, yes, it is. Thank you.

Comment by greenheron on August 1, 2017 at 5:12am

He might never admit it, but your dad was glad you were there with him. By going, you told him you loved him.

The third day of hospitalization is when the nicest of people turn into Mr./Ms. Crabbypants, so sounds like he was right on schedule. Also, they never discharge you when they say, by several hours. I'm so glad they didn't give him the ablation.

Fred left you a beautiful relic...you gonna keep that? :)

Here's to a good day for Father of Phyllis, and Fred, welcome to the world!

Comment by Phyllis on August 1, 2017 at 3:47pm

Hi, greenie. I think he was glad to see me, I know the doctor and nurse were, and Fred was happy to see me leave him in peace. :) You know what kills me about the whole Dad thing? My older sister lives close enough to be of use and she refuses. Then Dad is all thrilled when she spends 30 minutes with him. 30 minutes out of 3 days. He didn't ask me to take off work on Monday, he told me that I was going to so I could take him home. (This was before we knew about the procedures.) There's never any expectation of my sister doing anything and there is every expectation of me doing everything. Well, I can't handle it any more. I was a wreck today, I think I had 30 minutes when I didn't hurt today from the fibro. And I am exhausted but I need to do laundry tonight. Yes, he's grateful and I will never leave him in a lurch, but I am tired of being the only one who steps up. That is where my anger comes from. Not from him, but because of my family never being there yet expecting updates and from the damn hospital making me drive during rush hour because they can't get their shit together. This is how they make their money, you'd think they'd have a better system worked out.

Thank you for the opportunity to rant.

Comment by Phyllis on August 1, 2017 at 3:48pm

I do have the relic, it's stuck in a candle next to the TV until I can come up with a better plan. And thank you for the good wishes. Dad is doing much better today after a night in his own bed.

Comment by greenheron on August 1, 2017 at 4:06pm

I hear you on the sister thing, had same with sister heron with both our parents. When my own health went south with the heart thing, we had to re-negotiate and now it's her who does more. If this is taking a toll on your health, can you have a talk with her about that? Knowing parents, when she's alone with your dad, he might be talking all about how terrific you are, same as he does with you about her. They do that!

When you get the relic rigged, show it off. I would rather have a cocoon than a pearl. Call me crazy :) 

Comment by Phyllis on August 2, 2017 at 9:57am

Something will have to be worked out but this is the sister that I don't talk to. She's also getting ready to move further away and has her own health issues so I can see her fighting me on it. But hey, Dad is going to leave me the treasure map so there's ways around the inequity. ;)

I would like a pearl if the oyster gave it up willingly.

Comment by Phyllis on August 2, 2017 at 4:16pm

Thanks, monkey. It was the helplessness of that tiny chrysalis that got to me. I will tell my counselor about it, she mentioned something about me wanting to take care of the helpless last time. We'll have lots to discuss.

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