Sunday, September 05, 2004


It is very late and I am very tired, but I've been putting off talking about something I really need to get rid of. My Dad is very sick. Realize the man is 72 years old, and has never really taken care of himself, but I'm afraid to say that I don't know how much time he has left. He started getting easily winded in the summer of 2003, and the doctors decided he needed a bipass. Well, his health has been on a steady decline since. For every step forward there are two steps back. There really isn't anything I can do. I would like to be there for him, but right now I'm part of the effort to keep Babylon from consuming itself in the wake of the War on Terror. He is in the hospital again, and they have finally said that there is just nothing they can do for him. I made him promise me he'd hold out until I came back to visit when I am released from this Middle Eastern mess, but after this week I don't think he's going to make it.

A very selfish part of me doesn't want to see him; he has always been the strongest human I've ever met, and though at times he is mean, and there were parts of my childhood he made hell, I have a deep emotional bond with him, and we have always had a special understanding of one another. I don't know that I want to see him down, I don't know that I want to see him hurt. The fact is though I want to see him again and I don't know if I will this side of Valhalla. Yes, it is the natural order of things, but Goddamn I'm going to miss him.

So there it is - I've really internalized most of this. The people around me here don't really know about it, and my family doesn't know my feelings. But now it is here for all to see; an anonymous confession to strangers that I am scared my Dad is going to die. Funny huh? I almost think saying it out loud would solidify it and make it true. Now I have put it out for the world, but in a backhanded fashion. As if it is a way to confess and yet not make it happen.

Here is the truth though. My Dad is going to die, if not now, then in the not too distant future. And one day my son will have to deal with my death, and his son will deal with his. It will just keep going and going because it is the natural order of things. Objectively, I understand that. Rationally, I know it must be. Spiritually, my faith tells me death is no end. But practically? I fucking hate it.

When my Dad dies I will be separate from one of my favorite people. I will cry and probably rage, and maybe entertain a fantasy or two about revenge on the doctor who said the surgery would be good for him and give him another 20 years. But mostly I will be sad that the last thing my Dad hears won't be me telling him I love him. I tell him a lot, but I can't be there this time. I hope he knows how much he has influenced me and helped me to be the man I am today. I hope he knows he meant something, because he has always been my hero. I love you Dad.

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