I wrote this in high school in my creative writing class but I never submitted it. Today is my dad's birthday and he died when I was in the third grade. This is just to show my love and wish that he continue to rest in peace:
When I was in the third grade I knew my dad was sick. There were constant visits to the hospitals, weight continuously going up and down, but I did not know exactly what was making him this way. To top it all off my mom and dad were separated, they did not live in the same house or even in the same town for that matter. The idea of a perfect family, seemed like it had no hope.
This particular hospital visit appeared to be casual, it seemed as if it was just another one of those family members who had gone to the hospital for something. My dad’s strength made me believe that nothing was wrong. During this visit to the hospital, he thought it would be funny to lift his hospital scrub and show me the bag that was made and attached to his stomach in which this would be the only way he could use the bathroom. The clear bag attached to him gave me chills as I watched his intestines as they rested helplessly at his side. This visit gave me an everlasting image of my father's suffering. But still to my knowledge, he was in the process of recovering from surgery and that he'd be better soon.
The in and out hospital visits happened within a year, and unfortunately I still believed he would get better. It was hard to tell with the bouncing back and forth to his living room couch and the death bed that always welcomed him in the hospital. He said that he was tired of fighting his health. He told the doctors to let him go home, and so, he went home. I liked the idea of him being home, I was convinced he made a good recovery, but I guess at this point he had only accepted his fate. I guess having cancer for three years and the doctor only finding it when it's too late, and by to late I mean finding it when your going on your third year, can mentally screw up a person. Hell, it screwed me up.
But to be honest I didn’t really know exactly what cancer was but I was positive my dad didn’t have it. I was in denial and I was wrong. When he went home I continued visiting him on the weekends as I did before he had gotten really sick. His appearance was getting worse. His body was smaller, hair was thinner, overall he was slower. And he sat in his green corduroy rocking chair like a dying 87 year old man stuck in the 38 year old body that he physically had. Other relatives and friends were always at his house, visiting and doing things for him and being nice, I thought maybe it was because we all knew that he just got out of the hospital and everyone didn’t want him to get hurt and then have to go back into the hospital. I had appreciated all the nice gestures people were doing for my father. But eventually when I accepted his fate of dying, my thoughts were a little selfish, I wanted his last moments to be with me, I only knew him for 8 years and everyone else knew him before I was thought of. I needed to find a way to make him last in my memory. green evening dresses
Prior to my dad's sickness, my uncle Miguel and my father were really close. They “ran the streets together,” that's what we say in my family, meaning they spent most of their time enjoying the urban lifestyle as a youngin, not hard to do in the dilapidated town of Brockton MA. My uncle was always there with him though, even when he took his last breath, literally. I may have been too young to understand or witness their bond but I know it is important to my uncle because every time I see Miguel he says, “I was there.” I can't figure out how I could make it so that I could have been there to watch him take his last breath. Should I have come over that day? Called? I think the problem was, I still didn’t accept that he was going to die. I thought and I had convinced myself I would get more time and that maybe he would wait before he left me here. But it was not in my control.
It was a weird week leading up to his death. As young as I was, I wouldn’t have been able to make the connection that I am able to make now. The week prior to death, it rained, and it rained, and it rained and it rained, and it rained, and it rained. On Sunday morning, it did not rain. The sun shined brighter than I had ever seen it shine. My mother and I woke up, we showered, and we dressed for church like any other Sunday. Three minutes down the road as we headed towards the main street, my mom got a call from my older brother, her tone and demeanor remained calm but her face. I thought “what now.” I started to make the connection that my dad was deathly sick, I made the connection that the rain symbolized suffering and I made the connection that that phone call was not a good one. But I still did not want to draw any conclusions. I needed cold blood proof. My mom ended the phone conversation with “Ok, I’m on my way” then told me that we had to ‘pick something up’ from my brothers house.
We walked into my brother's apartment, a typical bachelor pad for a guy in his twenties: Carpeted with beer bottles, ashtrays, unwashed dishes, and gnats that might be seen hovering a dead body. I proceeded to my brothers bedroom. It was the room in the back of the apartment, past the bathroom on the left, and past his roommate's bedroom on the right. I entered the dark room as the curtains had continued blocking the bright morning sun, I sat down on the king sized bed while my mother and brother were outside the room, most likely trying to figure out how to tell me. In the room alone I felt as if it were an interrogation, but instead I had to be told my dad was being interrogated by death and his life had been sentenced. My older brother walked in, kneeled in front of me, and told me the news. My dad was gone.
My dad lost his battle to Cancer. and it happened just like that. I cried, I didn’t go to school for weeks, every time I looked at the obituary in the chalky colored newspaper I would lose it. Crying was the only thing I knew how to do. I had so many questions, I have so many questions, I blame myself, I ask why not me. All the time that I wanted to spend with him had been taken away. And I couldn’t and I can't come up with anything. I just had to accept it.
Going to New Hampton School, performing, being class president, doing a lot of things at my high school to get me out of my comfort zone, being the first out of my four brothers to graduate are all great accomplishment and I would not change it for the world. But as most people who have lost someone close to them say, I would do anything to have my father, my dad, here just to say I love you, or for him to hug me, or say I am proud. Though it's only a mindset of masculinity ingrained in the minds of young men, somehow, still not having that male role model in my life has taken a huge toll. I know he is proud but life could only be that much better if he were here to say it.