Remembering My Dad

As I’m writing this I am sitting in the room where, I can only presume, my dad took his last breaths. There is a new bed for me to sleep on and it definitely is different but I can’t shake the feeling that this is where he most likely left. I haven’t really grieved at all or done much of anything. I think other people are more sad than I am. So right now I feel like remembering my dad for whatever reason.

My dad wasn’t a great person and I’m not suddenly going to pretend that he was after his passing. He did have occasional moments where he was a good father and more where he wasn’t. Both literally and fundamentally we were two different people. Essentially he could never understand who I am or will become and I will never understand who he was. In the time leading up to his death I did my best to distance myself from him in an effort to preserve some memory of him that he wasn’t. I knew the type of man he was and I tried my best to pretend that person wasn’t my father.

As a child you grow up learning from your parents, for better and for worse. You take their ideas and adopt them into your own. It took me a while, and other people telling me so, that some of the things my parents taught me, most of it not on purpose, was wrong. I had an existential crisis after high school where I was forced to confront myself and understand who I was as a person. Unfortunately that person would never be accepted by my parents. I questioned the religion I grew up with and my own sexuality. In some ways I made compromises, taking a bit from both which ultimately made me who I am today the person sitting behind a computer screen writing this out to whomever wishes to read it.

My political, religious and world views changed away from that of my family. As I grew more aware I saw them for the flawed human beings that they were and was forced to accept them but they not me. Knowing this I stayed away from my father as much as I possibly could but I would always get moments or glimpses of reality. As a child you see your parents as giants, towering above you in more ways than just height. My parents are actually fairly short and it didn’t take long for me to surpass their height but they still stayed these near mythical figures only spoken of in hushed tones lest I face their wrath. My dad had an annoying habit of calling me up under the guise of assisting him with something only to find out he was lonely and just wanted to talk. I was annoyed because I was just doing other things but more so because he forced me to face him. The man who I had grown to admire, then fear, then hate, then wished to avoid now laid before me in an emaciated body to which I could only compare it to a skeleton or a starving child. Of course this man was not a child suffering from starvation but someone in his late seventies.

My final moments with him were not with him. Just a month earlier my mom called me up to go visit him in the hospital. I sat by his bed for around an hour, he completely unaware I was even there. I left, for various reasons. Some weeks later my mom called me again and essentially begged me to spend some time at our old home in the room I am now sitting in. Again I was there and he was not, his mind somewhere else I could not and did not want to follow. The last few minutes I was there he believed I wasn’t even in the room but talking to him on the phone. He wished me well, in his own way, expressing how proud he was at my current achievements and handed me the nonexistent phone for me to hang up.

After that I may have thought about him a total of twenty times. Mostly my mom telling me I should come visit and I would make absolutely every excuse to not. In the end the only reason I am here is because I lost my job, because I am losing my current home, is because I lost someone in my life that I felt would become my spouse. When we lose everything all we can do is go back, and back for me is to a home that I desperately never wanted to visit ever again. And now a person that I didn’t want to see or talk to or even acknowledge existed is gone from my life and I don’t know what to do. I don’t have a job to throw myself into, my home is not stable and I can’t rest my head on the lap of someone I care about. I thought I lost so much already and now I lost something I didn’t even realize I could lose.

This has been an unusual experience to say the least. Right now I don’t feel like crying, I don’t feel like laughing, I don’t feel like yelling or screaming. I feel like crawling up into a ball and cradling what little I have left, for fear it will also be taken away from me. I wonder what else I can lose, what else can be taken away from me. Right now it just feels like I’m holding sand and the tighter I grip the more pours out through my fingers. I don’t know what to do or where to go. All I know is I feel more afraid than I ever have. All I know is my dad is gone to a place I don’t know where and I can’t follow.

Currently – 10/22/19 (Class, Effort, Father)

Due to some events today I got to spend more time with the person I like. We talked and it was really nice and I got to know more about them. I was planning on asking them to hang out some time but I chickened out a bit but I kind of hinted at it so there’s that. Small victories, I suppose. Either way I enjoyed talking to them and learning more about them so its definitely a win-win.

The more posts I write on this blog the more… paranoid I get that someone in my life will discover it and put the pieces together. For some stuff its kind of just embarrassing but for others, say if I was attracted to someone and wanted to be in a relationship with them, could blow up in my face really easily. Its somewhat irrational but at the same time its a fear nonetheless. As it stands I’ll try to keep information as brief and vague as necessary. Even if the person I liked discovered that I liked them via this blog and felt the same way there’s also the fact this blog goes back a lot further and I’m not exactly proud of every single post’s content.

That being said, something happened in class which really made me think about the effort I’m putting in. I got back a test with a score that I was less than happy with. It was passing but just barely and came with a bunch of caveats like the fact I missed a few questions simply for being impatient. Both from the standpoint that the class is expensive and a few of my family members put up the money to have me go I definitely have an incentive to put that little extra bit of effort in. I’ve said this before but I really want to be a better and more complete person, as well as actually pass the class and potentially get a better job.

After class I was driving back home when my mom called me. My dad is pretty much in his last days at this point and she made it clear I should see him as he isn’t going to last much longer. Problem is they’re staying over a hundred miles away and I still have to put the work in for this class on a constant day to day basis. But I caved to her wishes and drove to see him. He wasn’t even really aware I was there and I could see the pain in both my mom and brother’s faces as they must have been caring for him for a while. I still have my hang ups about the man but I’m not cruel enough to deny him seeing me one final time before he passes on.

The scene really reminded me of something from my past. My dad, brother and I traveled to see his family out of state halfway across the country. The trip was fine until we went to a hospice center where I found out my grandmother was in her final days confined to a hospital bed as Alzheimer’s was slowly taking away everything she had. I never knew her despite having a single picture with us together so meeting her felt like I was looking at a stranger. In an effort to not be rude I complied with my dad’s wishes to talk to this woman who wasn’t even aware any of us were there. I said things that I thought were appropriate but didn’t feel, not from the standpoint of being cold or dislike of the woman just that I didn’t know her. So now I sat at what will most likely be my father’s final bed simply being nice to a person I was lukewarm at best with for a significant portion of my life. May I be a better father and man than he was.