The Metal Files

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Archive for the ‘mom’ Category

The thoughts that surround my troubled mind…

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It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 2 years that I packed up my shit and moved from my lifelong home of Virginia to Austin. I have zero regrets about it. Ninguna! I do miss some things about it like the smell of the salt air and some of my old stomping grounds and the friends I stomped those grounds with. For as much as I hate cold weather I did like seeing the leaves change color. Here in Central Texas they just go from green to brown. Weak.

Seriously, I just don’t like this time of year. The cooler air is depressing. Not to mention the shorter days suck. The worse part about this is the holidays.

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.

The one thing that made things easier during that time was Dad himself. He never lost his awesome sense of humor and made it a bit easier for me to cope with things. There were a few weekend days in his last months that we would just sit and talk in the garage for a few hours. That time with him will always be special, but I regret not doing more of that. Not just in his final weeks but in his final years.

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.:

Written by The Metal Files

November 17, 2008 at 8:18 pm

Posted in cancer, death, guilt, hank sr, mom, my dad