Monday, July 18, 2011
Twists and Turns
It's been a week since I learned how sick my dad is.
Stage 4 lung cancer. Ruthless, unforgiving and most certainly unforgivable.
My emotions have been all over the board through the past week. In some moments, I feel like I want to laugh again. The next moment, I start crying. So many memories have flooded my brain, too. Like all the jack-o-lanterns my dad carved because I didn't want to touch the slimy pumpkin guts and the time Dad took me to the father-daughter ice cream social for the girl scouts troop I was in and all the beautiful decorations for my wedding that he hauled across the country for three days from South Carolina to Colorado for my wedding last September....and how he knew I needed a new car ... so he searched eBay and found my PT Cruiser in
My dad has been my go-to guy. I knew that if I had an issue, I could talk with him and he would listen and usually had some good advice for me to work through the "stuff".... now, I am here in his house....and between his naps, I try to make the most of every little bit I can get.
I told him how much I am going to miss him. He told me I am going to be all right. I told him, maybe so, but this is just too soon. I am not ready for him to go anywhere. He reminded me that sometimes we can't choose these things. I told him I sure didn't think it's fair. He told me that we all have lessons to learn and teach and I said to him the thing that crossed my mind on Monday night. I told him how I was yelling at Rob that night and I told Rob that I thought it was the dumbest thing I had heard of .... learning a lesson by losing your dad.
That Monday night, Rob asked me if I thought I wanted to meet with and talk with the Chaplain. I looked at him. My expression on my face was one of disbelief. I asked him, "Why would I want to talk to her??!!" he suggested . "Grief counseling....?" I was irritated by that. I said, "No! No, I don't want to go talk to the chaplain. I don't want to talk to her about grief counseling....DAMMIT! I don't want to grieve my dad! My dad is too young and he should not be sick enough to have a short prognosis and NO! I don't want grief counseling because I don't want GRIEF!" Rob sat and looked at me. I know he was worried about me.
I was so angry that night. I was starting new classes in school. I sat down at my computer and reviewed the classes' requirements. I learned that the art course was mostly about learning to draw a human figure. I sat at my desk and started at the computer screen as the cursor blinked in perfect rhythm. It crossed my mind that I am not going to live forever and why the hell should I challenge myself to learn how to draw a human figure if someday I am just going to die, too? This whole life concept just suddenly made no sense to me at all! I mean sure if someone challenged me, I could produce a logical answer, but really, why do we have to live if we just end up dying?
I am a mother and I love my children with every fiber of my being. I thought about how some day, my children and I will go through this. It broke my heart a little more.
I thought of my very dear friend, Susan. Susan's first-born drowned. She had to bury her own child. I could not fathom that pain. I thought about what it was like to see my Grandmother go through the dying process for the same diagnosis that my dad was given. It was so painful to witness. She was my grandmother and somewhere in my heart, I managed to work through it and accept. For whatever reason, I felt like we as people find it easier to embrace when it is a grandparent. But now, I am losing a parent and this hurts like hell. I hate that it is cancer. I hate seeing how weak and pale he has become. I hate knowing that when he eats food for his own hunger, he is feeding that damned tumor that is crushing his ability to breathe. I hate that when he is so sleepy it is because of the tumor stealing him away from us a little bit at a time. I hate all of that so much.