I went to the grocery store yesterday because I was forced to. I went to one I don’t usually go to but my Dad likes. I walked in and saw a very thin, frail looking man, hunched over his carriage. I knew he looked familiar but he looked so old and sick I thought it couldn’t be him, it couldn’t be my Dad.
It was. I couldn’t move, I felt the numbing heat that starts in my legs and travels to my head. I knew the shaking/tremors were going to start, I didn’t know I already had tears on my face. I was stuck where I was standing and staring at him. I felt such fear and anger. Anger because he doesn’t listen to his Doctors or anyone else, anger because my twin sister has once again left me to watch our remaining parent die or kill themselves slowly because they’ve given up.
I’ve left her so many texts it’s like I’m a stalker. She hasn’t responded. I left a voicemail and she hasn’t responded. She thinks I’m too dramatic. I’m getting upset over nothing. My Dad’s Nephrologist told him he has less than 4 years and he’s being very optimistic with that estimate.
I told my Dad last night that I don’t want my name on the house or anything. I refuse to be here when my sister and her husband show up and start criticizing the house and yard. I know exactly how it will go. “How could you let it get this bad? How could you let him keep all these birds? How could you let him keep all the clocks? Why wasn’t the floor redone? How could you let him plant more flowers? Why didn’t you have those trees removed?”. I’m not going to listen to it when they weren’t here for any of it.
The didn’t offer to help with anything or come to visit. If my Dad wants to see his grandchildren he has to try to contact my sister and arrange a meeting. Meanwhile I’m a prisoner in this house of antiques and dirt. A prisoner of my own guilt and shame for the things I’ve done in the past that hurt my parents. There’s no way I can ever make up for the things that I’ve done or said.
Is there a time where I say enough is enough? Where I do something I want to do like an adult? Make a decision like an adult? If I turn out to be wrong I take responsibility and try to correct the wrong. Simple things like driving a long distance should not make my Dad angry or worry so much that he’s dry heaving. I might only have a few more years left than he does I think it’s okay to take a road trip or stay out past dark.
I know most of this is my fault because I never really moved out on my own. I knew in the back of my mind that I wouldn’t make it living on my own years ago. I’m a different person now. I still need to do a lot of work and I’m not 100% sure about being on my own but I would like to have the choice. I won’t abandon my Dad. This isn’t in my nature to do.
When I think of the man who taught me to swim, who could swim like a fish himself, who loved the water and looked like he was born from the sea, I smile.
When I think of the man who taught me drive with patience and enough trust to let me drive him over a large bridge in the pouring rain, I smile.
When I think of the man who saved every little animal I brought to him without hesitation, I smile.
When I think of the man who sat by my side night after night watching movies and TV he wasn’t interested in just to keep me company so I wouldn’t feel alone, I smile.
When I think of the man who saved me dying, I shut down and cry.
My mom passed away nine years ago and I still have not come to terms with it. Her death haunts me almost daily. Maybe it was because I watched her die I don’t know.
There are still some of my pets that have died that I have a hard time with when I think about them or something triggers a memory. I know people who are diagnosed Bipolar have a harder time with grief but I also know this is something more.