Jul 12, 2017

The bad anniversary.

Someone I know just celebrated a bad anniversary the other day.

I don’t mark bad things on the calendar, the person in question said they have a tendency within the family to take a bad anniversary and change it but I don’t want to give any bad anniversary power and treat it as anything more than another day.

There’s this other issue as well which has to do with death... we can’t let go some of us.

I took care of my father for many years, more than I care to remember and it was a very, very difficult journey that no one around me understood. I mean NO ONE. Several other people have gotten on that train and have come to me later and asked with amazement how I managed but the truth is that it’s a ride you take alone.

Seriously if you have the responsibility of managing another person’s care it’s really a thankless task.

But the thing is you have to know how to let go.

So, my father had had a heart attack... and it had happened several days earlier and he got worse and worse. It had been the first time I had been able to get some work in several months and I was leaving him alone even though there was a part of me that was concerned about doing that. I know it sounds really, really weird but I have a sense about these things. It sounds nutty to even put it into words but I can’t tell you how many times it has happened.

So, Pop was pretty sick and the day I bought him to the hospital was an interesting morning only because there was a back and forth over whether I should take him as he wasn’t too keen on going. In the car on the way there though I talked to him, frankly. I mean to say I said as plainly as I could, “Tell me what you want me to do.”

What I meant by that was do you want me to make them do things to you to keep you going.

Only a few years earlier my uncle (his brother) passed and there were moments that were not fun. My uncle pointedly told me when I went to visit him and no one else was around that he didn’t want to go through the ordeal of having a breathing tube put into him EVER AGAIN.

He was very clear on that and right now when I think about it today many, many years later tears still come to my eyes. He was in my opinion a great man.

When my father was in the car with me, my one goal was to be sure that whatever I did, I did what he wanted. It was important. It was the one time when I knew he was counting on me more than at any other point in his life. At that point he needed me more than a person needs anyone else. He was at a point where he was defenseless.

Now, as much as I may have thought my old man was the most incredible dick to me imaginable, there also is something in me through other people in my life that does not shirk from responsibility. I felt an incredible amount of obligation (which I am still trying to figure out why considering the kind of parent my father was) and I could not walk away from that. I sacrificed quite a bit because of that responsibility.

Anyway, so my friend now is celebrating a year long ordeal and I can’t help but think the mistake that was made was in not letting go.

You can’t say that to someone because they will look upon you as an enemy but I would not want to make someone I love suffer nor would I want to suffer myself.

We can survive today because modern medicine can help us survive but that doesn’t mean we can live.

There’s a big difference between surviving and living.

My father for all his problems lived... he lived another year and a half. It was good he did because he got a chance to see people and say goodbye. That last year and a half wasn’t great at times but it wasn’t bad at others and strangely enough he did get a chance to say goodbye (even to me which is a story for another day and another reason I think he was such a dick).

My friend though can’t do that and it’s sad because the time to say goodbye happened a long time ago and all that’s left now is pain. You can’t say that but you can watch and wonder how long it will take before the realization sets in that it’s not about the person as much as it is about you and letting go.

I can’t say a word, I can only watch in mute silence and feel bad.

No comments: