Taking care of an elderly parent is an exercise in feeling twenty emotions at once.
Anxiety over their medical condition, relief they're someplace safe and not alone, resentment that this responsibility has fallen on you, happiness over the good times you now get to spend with them, anger over their inconsiderate actions, fear that you're not doing enough, fear that you're doing too much for them, and guilt. A lot of guilt. Guilt over everything.
I've had several people tell me that I should talk about my experiences in the comic strip, and I've thought about it too. Not to play it off for laughs, although some of it can be. But just because it's real and honest and would connect with readers. But it feels wrong to do so while dad's still around. There is little dignity in growing old, especially when your body and mind begin to fail you. And while one day I will write about our experiences dealing with this stuff (both when we laugh about it and cry about it), I don't feel right doing it just yet.
It's been incredibly difficult to sit down and create PvP this last year. I think maybe because PvP is my heart and right now my heart is struggling to cope. It's being ripped apart watching dad diminish and being overwhelmed by the wonderful times we're getting to spend together now that he's living here with us. Everything feels turned up to eleven emotionally. And when it sit down to write PvP I find myself exhausted and unable to fall into the routine. I can do it, but it's a struggle.
Ironically, I'm getting feedback that PvP is the best it's ever been from both fans and friends. Which makes no damned sense to me because I feel like I've been dropping the ball consistently for over a year. Nobody said this was going to be easy and nobody is complaining except me. Either I'm neglecting dad for work or neglecting work for dad. I'm told there's a balance that can be found here, but I'm not seeing it yet.
Dad and I spend a lot of time reminiscing. Looking back and remembering simpler times and people who are no longer with us. It's bittersweet.
What a life. What a strange wonderful life. What a blessing to still be here and see all the amazing things that are happening in the world.
What a blessing to be able to share it all with dad. For now. For as long as I can.