When ILD Came To Visit And Decided To Stay

It must have been around the time that daddy fought in the Vietnam War that ILD decided to make his first acquaintance. Daddy met momma right after saluting farewell to the war but ILD wasn't living nearby at the time. He came by from time to time, but he was disguised by looking like someone else they knew, so no one bothered to be alarmed. He used many disguises,actually; all very elaborate and cunning. ILD was a gifted, smart one. He would stick around a bit, then leave. He would come back later, and then leave. Sometimes he stayed a little longer, but he always left as quickly and quietly as he came.

ILD was around when my little sisters were born too. He never missed a holiday, birthday, or special event. He must have had an electronic reminder of these events because of his punctuality and timely consideration. He never made a mess and took his things with him when he left.

Daddy continued to play hard with his friend, ILD. They loved racketball and baseball. ILD was such a sports fanatic and athlete. But, he never stayed long, and would leave as quickly and quietly as he came.

It seemed as daddy got older, ILD came to visit more to check on his friend. He even moved into the neighborood and attended daddy's church he pastored at. Good ole' ILD, never missed a beat and never missed an opportunity to share the special events in daddy's life.

I can't recall the exact date last summer when ILD moved into daddy's house, must have been when people in a medical van began to show up with ILD's belongings. I don't think he ever asked daddy about moving in, or momma for that matter! Guess he knew that since daddy and him had been friends for so long that he would stick around permananently to help daddy out. What a generous guy ILD was!

We didn't know ILD's name, truthfully, until probably March of this year. ILD always loved mystery and surprises, that rascal. But he had already changed the landscape of daddy's life forever. He even consumed every bit of space in their house and announced his presence on their front door with a cute, little flame on the sign. Did I mention ILD was artistic?

ILD was also musical. He had beeping machines and well choreographed lights humming to the beats from some of his instruments. What an entertainer he was! It was a pity he didn't let us know about his natural gifts beforehand. Maybe we could have visited him and listened to his music from the comforts of his own home. But, we didn't realize his talents until he moved in last summer. What a shame!

The odd thing about ILD was that he used to come and go quickly and quietly. He was never the center of attention, and he was never selfish. His visits never cost a lot, and he always took his belongings with him. Now it seemed ILD was everywhere. He was the subject of every conversation with or about daddy. He made a lot of noise. He strung his belongings everywhere and never cleaned up his mess. He had to follow daddy all over the place, even to the bathroom and shower. We could never be alone with daddy like we used to be. What used to be a friend was now a foe. What used to be a mystery was now a fallicy. He didn't mind letting everyone know who exactly he was. He even put his announcement in the car rearview window!

Momma became embarrassed when people at Wal-Mart asked about ILD. He had stripped daddy of his identity, like identity theft. Daddy was now known as ILD. It wasn't like a new grandbaby or a new car. ILD was a menace and a burden. He made daddy pant and wheeze like a old, dying man.

Ironic thing was that ILD was around for every special event, every holiday, and every anniversary in daddy's life. But, now daddy faced the realization that because of ILD, daddy wouldn't be around for all those events in the future. What a strange twist of fate, your friend keeping you from seeing those things and being a part of our family's future generations!

There will come a day, I know, that ILD will move his belongings out of daddy's house. They will compile themselves in the medical van again. ILD will go meet a new friend and move his belongings into their house. Daddy's house will be empty once again. As the medical van hauls off ILD's belongings, another van will carry off daddy, and the two friends will part ways forever. Daddy will not need ILD where he is going. He will have a new Friend, a Friend who walked beside daddy and ILD all these years.

For now, as I write this, I will have to contend that ILD and daddy are inseperable and you can't have one without the other. I will continue to visit daddy faithfully and listen to ILD's rythymic music and gaze upon his art renderings. For this I know, ILD wasn't always my daddy's friend. He wasn't always the first thing you saw when you layed eyes on my daddy. Daddy was the guy that changed diapers, cleaned our house, cooked omelettes on Saturday morning, insisted on super clean movies to watch on Friday nights, and screened all of the dates. ILD never defined who my daddy was.

To learn more about ILD, please visit the links below. 

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7 comments

KCC Big Country profile image

KCC Big Country 7 years ago from Central Texas

Powerful hub, Asherkade. Sad, but powerful.


Suiiki profile image

Suiiki 7 years ago from City of the Newly Wed and Nearly Dead

Oh my God. *hugs* This was hard to read. As a home health aide back in Ohio, I got to see how the families of the terminal patients I worked with coped, and it has always been hard for me. I never knew what to say. People always seem to look at you like "Why can't you save my family member?" I wish I could be there in person to give you a hug.


jill of alltrades profile image

jill of alltrades 7 years ago from Philippines

Wow! What a poignant way of writing about a something that affects your dad.


AsherKade profile image

AsherKade 7 years ago from Texas Author

this is probably the most "vulnerable" I will be on the internet outside of very close family and friends. It took a lot to write this. I will be reading this at his funeral someday.TY all.


fen lander profile image

fen lander 7 years ago from Whitstable

I had no idea what ILD was but now I do. Again, something I wouldn't want to think about so it was kind of good the way you got me to read to the end- good stuff.


AsherKade profile image

AsherKade 7 years ago from Texas Author

thank you fen...you are always so kind to me. My dad thought ths eulogy was funny and showed it to his doctor. I didn't expect it to get that reaction...I have had other strange reactions to this eulogy on other sites...


Sheila Cassidy 3 years ago

I have been dealing with ILD for only about 9 mos. just found a doctor this mo. Have not been yet ...hit me all at once got up out of my chair took a few steps and couldn't breath heart was beating too fast and had constant pain from RA 24 Hours a day ,hands go numb if they are used above waist level or if it rains. On oxygen twenty four hours a day at my request because I couldn't breath, I was on line trying to get info on it cause I don't know anything about it, still don't know very much but I really enjoyed your writing about it and posted it on my FB page. Thank you if you can tell me any info about what I should know if your time allows that would be so great...thx again it's starting to rain here so my hand is numb and feels like it's on fire don't know if it is from ILD or RA g?thanks again

Sheila.....

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