Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Happy birthday, Dad

You would have been sixty years old yesterday, but you didn't make it that far.  I thought a lot about what to say, and what my feelings are.  I do miss you, having you there to talk to if I need you.  But I don't miss worrying about you and what you might be doing to Mom at any given time.  I anticipated that phone call for years.  When it finally came, it was met with relief that the fight was over.  You died in your sleep.  Not a bad way to go. 

I wish you'd been in less pain.  Physical and mental and emotional.  You had a crappy childhood and made it as an adult in the best way you could for as long as you could.  And then you gave up, it seems.  We had that meeting at Jen's house where we agreed you were trying to drink yourself to death and there was nothing we could do about it.  Life had gotten to you - too many peoples' problems you felt you couldn't fix or handle anymore.  You didn't want to play anymore.  I can relate to that.  But still.  I wish it hadn't played out as it did. 

I wish Mom would stop telling me she wants to die.  It hurts so much.  I feel like she doesn't think we're worth living for.  I hated her as a teenager when she said it.  "Only the cat loves me, and it's taking all of my willpower not to take this entire bottle of pills."  As an adult, I understand better. She can't see beyond her pain.  But dear God, no one wants to hear that your mom wanted to die when she was pregnant with you.  Unwanted from the first to the last. 

I know it'll take at least a few years for the emotional turmoil to die down.  I didn't really take time to mourn.  Nobody cares if I'm sad; they need me to keep functioning.  I need to keep everything going - house, school, kids, work. At work I have lots of time to think, but I haven't come to any conclusions.  Mostly I just worry. 

I worry about Mom dying.  Every day she lives is a bloody miracle that she didn't get in a car wreck, or take too many pills, or starve to death, or stick her head in an oven.  I worry about my in-laws dying.  Syd's the only dad I've got left, and he's 70.  I worry that since I take after Dad more than anyone else that I'll die young, too. 

I guess I just wanted to say happy birthday, and I wish you were here, but healthy and stable and sane.