“Stand there dance with a memory. The caption reads, “It’s all over now.” ~Appleseed Castoe
I guess I should start with the short version. My father is dying. Was that too blunt? I don’t really know what to say or how to say it in a nicer way; tiptoeing around the subject as though it will make it better. Due to years and years of healthy issues, and psychological issues, emotional issues, mental issues (you get it) he is currently in hospice and only has days left, in the best possible case.
I could focus on the bad things, that’s always so easy to do because they bring forth the most feeling and pain, hurt and regret, anger and animosity. But I’ll try not to.
Bottom line, he wasn’t always very nice to me, and this is putting it in the best way possible, but everything he did or said made me who I am today, and I kind of like me.
Bottom line, he wasn’t always the best father, but there are times, distinct memories that are good, that I can believe he really cared: coaching t-ball, going to the beach, teaching me to play cards. I will choose to hold on to these things and remember them when things get too dark.
Bottom line: there were times when I down-right hated him and not in a normal teenage angst kind of way; in a grown-up unhealthy kind of way. But hate is not the opposite of love, not caring is, so essentially I still cared. I still had feelings and emotions surrounding this man and this relationship, which, in a small way, means I was still living and still willing to fight for something.
I’ve been handling things as best I could, trying not to fall apart or dwell on the past, but my insomnia has come back and I am not getting much sleep. At night I don’t have anyone or anything to occupy my thoughts and that’s when the worry and anxiety sets in. I am most worried about my younger brothers, who essentially had a different father than I did and their grief is so much more profound and raw than I feel mine to be.
I’ve been feeling like my skin is too tight, like I’m itching to do something, anything to rebel against this and to prove that I am still very much alive, even when surrounded by all this death. I need to break free, go crazy, at least just for a short amount of time, to prove that there is something still left in me.
Do we all have things we wish we would have said or done before it was too late? Yes, of course, but I feel like in this situation, I wish I could say things to simply make him feel better about moving on. I want to tell him that I hope wherever he is or wherever he is going he finds the peace within himself that he couldn’t find here with us.
Does any of this really matter? I feel like I have made my peace with it, and while I can talk about it, I don’t hold on to it, or feel (overly) bitter or harbor feelings that are going to weigh me down for the rest of my life. At the end of the day he was my dad and no one else in the world can make that claim.
And that’s got to mean something.