I had the stomach flu.
The up-at-3:30-in-the-morning-begging-for-gods-mercy stomach flu. If that wasn’t enough it came with a 102 temperature and body aches that could rival my most brutal workout. In adult terms, they should have been reading me my last rights. I laid there on the couch, shivering in the 90 degree heat, sobbing because I was thirsty but couldn’t get up to get anything for fear that the mere movement will send me back into the bathroom heaving. I texted anyone I could to please come help, bring ginger ale and saltines, perhaps a shot of morphine. I couldn’t take it anymore.
I want to die
This can’t get any worse.
WHY ME?! Whhhyyyyyyy!!!!! (Yes you can read that in Nancy Kerrigan’s voice)
Yet as tortured as I was, nothing would beat the torture of hearing that my father is going to die.
The prognosis …it isn’t good Jenn. The cancer has spread to his liver. Surgery is no longer an option. They have to start chemo right away, his cancer is.. It’s really aggressive.
My mother told me this on the phone as I just sat there, wrapped in my snuggie, tears streaming down my face. Out of the corner of my eye my daughter glanced away from her phone and looked at me, her eyes too, instantly tearing. She knew. She knew and I didn’t have to say a word. I asked my mother what we had for a timeframe.
They gave us one, but I don’t want to say right now. Not until I speak with them again tomorrow.
But you have one….
Yes but I want more information..
Is it at least two years mom? Do we have at least two years? Just tell me that much..
My heart sank. I told her I would be over. Fever or no fever, I needed to be there. I hung up the phone and Sarah looks at me through wide wet eyes
Is it treatable?
I shake my head, immediately breaking down.
Is he going to die?
I couldn’t answer. I couldn’t answer not only because I didn’t want to break her heart, but saying the words would most definitely break mine. It would make it real.
I pulled on what I could, and slowly got myself out the door. Moving hurt. Not only was I in pain, but I was horribly dizzy. The humidity only adding to my misery.
I knew my fever had broken by the way my knees sweat just sitting in my parents living room. Even though I didn’t want to make my father sick, I hugged him, and told him I loved him. He felt frail and thin even though still in his work clothes. My sister sat next to my mother on the couch, she was sobbing into her tshirt. My mother sat there, visibly upset, but taking notes. My father seemed the most calm out of all of us, at one point even asking why my sister and I were so upset. I wasn’t sure if it was denial or just his way of coping. He also told me I should be home resting, and that I didn’t have be to there for this “joyous occasion” as he called it.
How does one knowingly say goodbye to a parent? How does one just accept that they will be losing this person within a certain amount of time? How can I even prepare myself and my daughter for the devastation that will be my fathers passing? You know you are going to lose your parents someday, but even knowing that you still almost feel as if they are immortal, that they will grow old with you, and just always be there. What do you do when reality smacks you in the face with her cold cruel hand and decides to take one of them? How can you fill that void not only for yourself, but everyone else as well?
I find myself analyzing and thinking about mundane everyday life things that will no longer get done without my dad doing them. Who will cut the grass? Feed the cats? Complain about the mess on the kitchen table, or the sink? Who will play Yahtzee with my daughter and accuse her of cheating, or play a Christmas game of pool with my Cousin Andrew? Who will head bang when acdc comes on? Or bitch about the new upcoming democrat running for president ? But more importantly, who will catch me when I fall? Remind me how tough I am and how proud they are of me? Who will call me “Dolly” or “Kid”? Who will be “The Geep” for my little girl?
It’s been 3 days since we got the news and I’m plagued by these questions. My dreams plagued with subtle innuendo of what’s to come. Everything feels like a bad dream, as if I will wake up tomorrow and find that the past month has just been a horrible nightmare.