When I was younger I was sick for a long time, and my family put so much aside to care for me. They were so worried, and so scared. I can’t even imagine how they made it through what must have been dark and exhausting years of or lives (that I actually don’t remember much of; I think I’m lucky that way).
I am sure all children feel that they owe their parents a lot, but for me it feels even more true. I owe them years, literally. And that’s why now, when my dad is going another round fighting infections and side effects from the heavy medication he is on to battle his metastatic prostate cancer, I can’t imagine being anywhere but by his side, just like he never left mine for all those years.
It breaks my heart, again and again, but I will NEVER waiver.
I can understand why children struggle with being close to their parents as the shadows creep in: it is hard to watch someone battle and lose. Especially when they are your hero and the one who taught you how to win to begin with.
Sometimes I don’t know what to say, and sometimes I find myself being forcefully shrill and cheerful as I try to keep the sadness at bay. And sometimes I can’t do anything but just sit there and we cry. Mostly me. He is still trying to keep it together; I suspect he cries more after I leave, just to protect me.
He doesn’t know what day of the week it is anymore, and the pain rides his mind like a cruel cowboy.
But my father still tries to protect me.