Rants, Ramblings and General Diary of Juliana Wathen

Southern Comfort…..

“DENVER WATHEN’S ham-sized hands cradled his reel with the sensitivity of a surgeon feeling a pulse. Then he quickly lowered the rod tip, cranked up slack line, and reared back hard enough to cross the eyes of an alligator.”  Bob Brister  – Houston Chronicle 1986

We were told yesterday that my father, Denver, has Bladder Cancer and all the doctors can offer at this point is to keep him comfortable. So we took him back home. I took notice of how poorly he looked, hap-hazardly shaven and thin silver hair the length of General Custard’s at the last stand.It curled up and over his collar. We are past the point of taking “Mohammed to the mountain” to get a hair cut. He is not well enough to make the trip. So, I did what I thought I should do for the man I rarely touch. I offered to cut his hair. I have worried these last few years how I would be able to step up and do the right thing for him in his end days. And now that day is here. Come to find out, a horribly dull set of house scissors and a old black comb were all I needed to comfort him. He had to rest half way thru, sitting up was a chore. But in the end he managed and I managed. We muddled through together each realizing this was uncharted territory. Before I left, he thanked me ….for cutting his hair…and for staying a while.

He was always most comfortable on a lake fishing I guess. Mexico, Yucatan, or Cuba. The staff writer who traveled down to Mexico to fish with him in 1986 sure seemed to capture that in the quote above.

How do you keep THIS man comfortable?. A step at a time. A day at a time. I’m sure it will come to me when I need it most. Just like yesterday.

I love each and every one of you

Juliana

Straw and mud hut in Africa

Hippos on the lake in Africa

Denver's cabana in Cuba

Comments on: "Southern Comfort….." (10)

  1. Belinda Manning said:

    Honey, I know a lot of your history with Denver and I know your history is hard for you but you did do a good thing cutting his hair and staying awhile.
    No matter how we may feel about someone, no matter how much they hurt us in the past, we never know what we will feel when they are no longer with us.
    Sometimes we hurt from our own pain of the passing of them and sometimes we hurt because someone else is hurting from the loss of him/her and that hurts us and of course sometimes we just say…”huh….how about that”. Whatever it may be for you when that time comes, I pray you find comfort no matter what or where that too may be found.
    You all remain in my prayers as you have been for the last 24+ years.

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  2. Jen (preggers) said:

    Ya know, it really didn’t hit me until reading this. I called and talked to him for a bit this evening. He sounded tired and then happy. He was wondering where everyone was. We couldn’t get over tonight but he said he had talked to Jenny and Julie.

    For better or worse, he is Geezer. Life is never is easy and we have to all come to accept that after a certain point you can’t hold onto things that happened years ago. You let them go, not for the people that did them but for yourself. We love him until we can’t anymore and then we love him some more.

    I hate it when I am emotional because I just babble! Sorry. I will stop now. :-p

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  3. Juliana, your amazing! I am so very sorry. You will get thru this. Denver is so lucky to have you. My prayer for Denver is comfort, reconciliation and understanding. My prayer for you and your family you hold so dear is peace, love, understanding and acceptance. Know your in my heart and prayers.
    xo,
    Jill

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  4. Thank you Jill….In the infamous words of LAW. YOU COMPLETE ME!

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  5. That is truly a beautiful thing you did Juli. When all is said and done, all anyone has left in this world is those who love them by their side as they leave Earth. It’s a really takes a strong person to put the past behind you and spend the time you have left with someone – really just loving them the best way you can. And I think you showed that to Denver….

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  6. Lisa Bull said:

    All I can say is the most amazing Gifts come from the hardest things we can imagine! You did good my Beautiful Jewel! Helping Denver in little ways, when all is said and done, will be the Best Healing for you! I know this from experience and not only is a Hurt the size of Texas Healed, but I’m overwhelmed with Joy and Gratitude! I love you! You got this! ❤

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  7. IT’s friends like you that help me thru. I love you my lil Shug!

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  8. Mariannne said:

    Hey, JLuv. Wasn’t so long ago I was where you are, even though I had a different kind of relationship with my dad. He was my hero and the man I admired most in the world, but our heroes are rarely the people that we feel really close to or at ease with. There was always a certain formality between us and a stiltedness in our conversation. Those lifelong qualities of our relationship did not just evaporate just because one of our lives was ending, and as much as I loved him, I could not simply push them aside and offer him the kind of comfort I thought a “good” daughter should — no hand-holding, no brow-soothing, no reassuring words about eternal life.

    In the end, all I did for him was the one thing I could do: I stayed awhile. I sat with him; I “saw” him, you know? And me seeing him, acknowledging him, kept the world present and kept him present in it, and I think that helped him feel less afraid.

    We all do the best we can, and even when it doesn’t feel like it’s enough, it is. Your heart is so big, it can’t help but guide you down the right path.

    I love you much and I’m keeping you close.
    M

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  9. I remember your dad. He was always kind and a man of few words.But he was COOOOOL.
    So are you baby. I love you

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