My dad comes home this afternoon. Tomorrow morning, at 4:30 am, it will be exactly two months since I wrote this.
I'm both terrified and delighted to have him back at home.
He'll be at a day program for the next several weeks, so there's some transition time for all of us, my dad included. This time has to be different. I think it will be, I really do. We've all grown and learned and realize there has to be change.
I do think he's gotten to a good place, honestly. When I saw him on Sunday he was more him, the good him, than I've seen in a long, long time. And the truth is, he needs to come home, to have his normal life again. We all need to build a normal life again.
Two months is a long, long time to be in a hospital. And a month in the psych ward? Would drive the average person batshit crazy. It's an honest to god nutso place.
My dad walked my mom and me to the elevator Sunday. You have to sign out, push the elevator button, push a camera button inside the elevator, then wait for the people at the nurse's station to let the elevator go so you can finally push the L button to go down to the lobby. It's quite a process.
Invariably you push buttons and wait and someone winds up bellowing "elevator!" so that the nurses will let you go. Once, Betty and I wound up on the 4th floor four times. Door closed, elevator went nowhere, door opened, and we saw the same check in desk. Four times. We were starting to feel crazy ourselves.
There's a sign on the elevator that says, "Use your hospital pass."
Sunday my dad asked Betty if she was going to use her hospital pass. She said that would mean she worked there. He asked if she was going to work there.
And she said, "Are you kidding? This place is full of crazy people!"
One of the other patients, who was sitting next to the desk, turned to my dad and said, "Present company excepted, of course."