Feb 23, 2012

heavy heart

One thing that's for sure in our lives is that we don't get to choose our parents.We don't get to choose our version of "barbie" and "ken". We get what we get and we can't throw a fit. Well, we can throw a fit later when we realize our parents could have done better or even just did the best they could. I say all this because my heart is heavy for my dad. I'm having a hard time coming to grips that I will lose him to this life and have to mourn not only for his absence but his legacy of poor choices. I just can't quite understand or have peace about the sequential choices of his short life. He's not physically dead yet but his characteristics and traits that I grew up with have been dying for several years now.
At the moment, he's in the hospital with complications of diabetes and obesity which has ultimately created kidney failure.
I don't really know what is going to happen to him. I'm trying to grasp the idea of his absence. It seems so unnatural to think about losing a parent. They give so much of themselves and sacrifice a lot to make sure you have what you need and they are always on your side no matter what. My dad and I have had conversations about his death and funeral He says he only wants to be cremated and no services. Then later he said I could have a memorial for him.  Honestly, I don't know what I will do. It's hard to fathom it. It's painful to my senses that I might have to face his mortality in a way that seems so unfair.
When I was a child, I feared my dad. He was gruff, firm, overbearing at times, and drill sergeant like. I always went to my mom for everything. I knew my dad loved me. He made dinner for us, helped us with homework, fixed stuff for us. He went back to college when I was a young girl. Trying to make himself better. As I got older, he seemed to become more lenient of my tween behaviors. I think that had to do with my parents divorce and the slight possibility that he felt guilt over a failed marriage. I have several memories of him being a single dad, trying to make his kids happy even amidst all the dysfunction. From the age of fourteen and fifteen, I wrote a lot of letters to my dad. I had been dealing with so many leftover emotions and memories that were too painful to speak about in person. I went to live with him and my brother when I was 16 and that was the beginning of a new chapter of our relationship. I was sort of thrown into the role of homemaker. I was cooking, cleaning, and running errands and helping out in general. I didn't mind it so much, probably because he became even more lenient and I pretty much got away with murder, so to speak. We had our disagreements and fights. I think such high expectations were placed on me because I was the one most similar to my dad's personality. I have common sense and street smarts and I don't take a lot of crap from people. I guess that can be bad or good, depending on how you look at it. As I became adult and eventually a mom, our relationship changed again. I was no longer his baby girl who always looked to him for advice or guidance. I am now my own person, with my own ideas, my own ways of doing things, my own opinions and I can be quite vocal with all of that when it comes to conversations with my dad. Just in the past couple of years, we have butted heads on the issue that I don't spend enough time with him. When in actuality, I spend as much time as I can especially since the burden is on me to travel to see him. If I had all the time in the world, I'd see him once or twice a week. I am a super busy and I try as much as I can but even that is not good enough for him.
So here we are, possibly looking at the end of his life. I'm burdened with the thought of losing him and knowing that I can't just call or see him. My heart is heavy. The only power I have is prayer. I just have to pray and even when my words aren't there, God knows my heart. He knows each tear I cry and hears me when I call.

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