Archive for November 2008
My Dad died on Dec 5, 1997. The weeks leading up to that date always get me down. It reminds me of Dad’s last days. In general for a guy with cancer, he looked good. He didn’t get emaciated like a lot of cancer patients do. He didn’t even lose what little bit of hair he had on his head. But I always feel guilty. I moved in with Mom and Dad for a few months to help out. I didn’t help enough. Mom did everything and I tried to avoid it. I didn’t want to accept the fact that my Dad, my hero, was about to die and I couldn’t stop it. So I hid. I couldn’t face it then and still have trouble facing it to this day, 11 friggin’ years later.
To me, my Dad was invincible. He was the man of steel. Strong, confident, smart, driven, hardworking, funny, romantic, chivalrous, full of common sense and even a little cocky sometimes. All good qualities in a man and things that I strive to be althoug I think I’m rather unsuccessful at most of those.
Just thinking back to those last few months of his life, I still get that guttural feeling that I am a shitbag. Yes, I know I’m not (in general) but the guilt still overwhelms me sometimes. Today was one of those days.
Just a few weeks before this, my best friend’s Mom died of cancer. That woman fought long and hard. She was an awesome lady. I’ll never forget that when Dad was back in the hospital to get his pain under control, we told him that she died. It was only the third time in my life that I saw that man cry. He said, “Well shit, if she couldn’t beat it, I know I can’t.” When my friend and I talk about those times, we always say that his Mom and my Dad are together somewhere else talking shit and having a good time, just like they did when we were all together.
It was also around that time, I believe a week or 2 before my friend’s Mom died, that my step-grandma died. She was the woman who basically raised my Mom when her alcoholic Dad was too drunk to. She was always referred to as “Little Grandma”. Another woman who was the salt of the earth. The times we’d travel to Pennsylvania when I was a kid, I always looked forward to staying there. She was the sweetest woman in the world.
So yeah, November-December are no longer enjoyable for me and haven’t been in over a decade. It seems to be the times when I lose the ones I love. To be truthful, there are others that I could add to this list that left around the same time but that would just be a bit too depressing to talk about, eh?
People are funny. They say, “What, you don’t like the holidays?” Nowadays my general answer to them is, “No, not at all.”
So now that I have aired that out a bit, it’s time for some music. This seems mildly appropriate as Dad always loved Hank Sr.: